Failure of Swedish integration creates ‘parallel societies’, PM says after riots | Sweden

Sweden’s prime minister said the Scandinavian country had failed to integrate many immigrants who had settled there over the past 20 years, creating a nation of “parallel societies…living in different realities”.

Unveiling a series of measures to tackle organized crime after violent Easter weekend riots which injured more than 100 police officers, Magdalena Andersson said Islamism and right-wing extremism had been allowed to fester in Sweden.

“Segregation has been allowed to go so far that we have parallel societies in Sweden,” the Social Democratic prime minister told a press conference. “We live in the same country but in completely different realities. We will have to re-evaluate our previous truths and make difficult decisions. »

Integration has been “too weak, while we have seen very high levels of immigration”, added Andersson. “Society has been too weak, resources for the police and social services have been too weak.”

The number of people living in Sweden who were born abroad has doubled over the past 20 years to around 2 million, or one fifth of the population. Andersson said it was “crucial to prevent more children and young people being drawn into crime”.

She said she aimed to introduce “local juvenile delinquency committees”, in which social services and the police would work closely together, in addition to putting in place tools to ensure that young people stay in school and off the street.

Justice and Home Secretary Morgan Johansson has outlined plans to give police greater powers of electronic surveillance, facilitate the exchange of information between authorities and deny residency even to people who have not yet been convicted of a crime.

“What we saw was not a political demonstration,” Andersson said of the riots. “The police were attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails. It was not a political act, it was a criminal act – an attack on democracy that many fled to. »

The riots broke out after a notorious anti-immigrant provocateur, Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan, threatened to tour the country burning the Koran. Police clashed with groups of mostly masked young men in several towns and villages.

Police insisted they had to grant permits for the Paludan inflammatory events, planned primarily in areas with large Muslim populations, because of the country’s liberal free speech laws, but Johansson said that these freedoms were abused by “extremists” to promote “hate, division and violence”.

Sign up for First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am

Dozens of people were arrested after three days of riots in Norrköping, Linköping, Landskrona, Örebro, Malmö and the capital, Stockholm. A school was also set on fire and 20 police vehicles damaged or destroyed.

Sweden has dramatically tightened its immigration policies since taking in more people per capita than any other EU country during the 2015 migration crisis, and now has one of the most restrictive policies in the bloc with neighboring Denmark.

About Michael G. Walter

Check Also

CDA Offers National Unity, Integration, Peace, Security – DG Campaign

The African Democratic Congress (ADC) is poised to achieve national unity, integration, peaceful co-existence and …