Tag Archives: Malmo

Sweden Works At Integration Of Immigrants

Among the remarkable aspects of world wide immigration since the end of World War II has been the influx of thousands of people from African and Middle Eastern nations into Nordic societies. in the Swedish city of Malmo about 86% of those living in a suburb are first or second generation immigrants. As Americans quite understand the arrival of strangers from far off nations whose skin is darker than typical Swedes has resulted in a white flight. Anis, an immigrant from Bosnia, comments: “when I first got here fifteen years ago, I had Swedish neighbors. Today, there isn’t a single one left. Several who were interviewed in The Local argued the departure of native born Swedes has opened the door for a small but active group of fundamentalist Muslims to exert power in the area.

Maxine Camara, who heads Rosengard’s refugee welcome committe, laments that Islamic militants are able to obtain support since so many people are under-employed and have tales of prejudice. “A lot of young people here are out of work. Their parents don’t work, and they get their only social interaction in the Islamic millieu, which complicates integration.” Integration requires opportunity to work, to interact with people of diverse backgrounds and to become an active member of the community.

Both sides claim the other is at fault which is the norm when dealing with issues of integration of immigrants. Step one, as always, is securing meaningful work for those seeking employment and for schools that are successful with all students.

Is Sweden An Anti-Semitic Country?

An article in the Jerusalem Post by Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman argues the Swedish city of Malmo’s decision to hold the Davis Cup tennis match between Israel and Sweden behind closed doors was a blatant example of anti-semitism. They charge not allowing spectators to watch the match reflects bias and has “echoes in Nazi Europe’s anti-semitism.” They argue claiming security reasons was simply a ploy to hide the real truth that Israeli players were being “stigmatized. None of this is about sports. It’s about Jews.” Naturally, the Malmo city government argues they were concerned about the possibility of violence and noted protestors numbered over 6,000 and had there been spectators the result might have led to violence and injuries.

One can disagree with the decision not to allow spectators without getting into charges of anti-semitism. It is rather obvious if one follows demonstrations concerning abuse of human rights in Europe that more attention is paid to Israel than to any other nation in the world. Ironically, as the crowd gathered to protest the presence of Israel, the president of Sudan was expelling aid agencies from Darfur. The death of 300,000 people in Darfur apparently does not concern people in Sweden who want to protest against oppression.

We suspect the protest in Sweden and other such demonstrations reflect a latent anti-semitism that in no way can be compared to Nazi Germany. To compare these forms of protest with the horrors of Nazism is an insult to those who died in the Holocaust. The Swedish protestors know not what they do in terms of the hypocrisy in focusing on Israel and ignoring horrors in Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.

Riots In Sweden Reflect Athens Flu

Police from Stockholm and other Swedish cities are being sent to Malmo to handle a growing tension in the southern city which has been wracked by riots over the past two days. After two nights of intensive rioting, police requested assistance in order to quell the disturbance. Emotions have been running high in Malmo’s immigrant district of Rosengard after police forcibly removed three squatters from the basement offices of an Islamic culture center. The premises had been occupied since November 24th as part of a protest against the landlord’s decision not to renew the association’s lease for the space which it has occupied for fifteen years.

The riots have grown with intensity with each passing night. Police were pelted with Molotov cocktails and bomb threats were made to local businesses. There are reports rioters were joined by left-wing extremists from outside the area who go by the name of “autonomists.” The fire department has refused to enter the area torn by riots.

The Malmo riots most probably have nothing to do with Greek youth, but reflect tensions arising from the arrival of African and Muslim immigrants who are encountering discrimination by native born Swedes.