The Corner


The Reality of Sweden’s Migration Problem

Rescue personnel are seen at the site of an explosion in Linkoping, Sweden, June 7, 2019. (Pontus Johannson/Reuters)

Readers may recall a kerfuffle in February 2017, which now seems like the long, distant past. It revolved around President Trump riffing on the question of migration in front of a rally of his supporters:

You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.

As it happens, nothing had particularly happened the night before in Sweden itself. Rather, the president appeared to be referring to a segment he had seen on Fox News the previous evening, in which a journalist reported on the social and criminal problems that Sweden had been having as a result of the unchecked migration that peaked in 2015.

But such is the tenor of the times that the dominant response to the President’s statement was to ridicule it, especially by highlighting what a nirvana Sweden allegedly is. In other words, much of the political and media class in America and around the world decided to take part in covering up the problems which sudden non-European migration had brought to Sweden. In their desire to lampoon Trump they ended up colluding in a falsehood.

Just how false can once again be seen from the most recent work from Paulina Neuding, one of the most indispensable journalists not just in Europe but anywhere else. In recent years Neuding has, among other things, been keeping a tally of “explosions” in Sweden. Not metaphorical ones, but actual ones. So strangely self-censoring is the Swedish press that when explosives are used (including grenade attacks, among other hitherto un-Swedish activities) they are either ignored or reported merely as “explosions.”  Some of these do turn out to be accidents, but a great many do not, and the unwillingness of most of the media (local and international) to look into these events is one of those things that I predict historians will look back at and just whistle.

As Neuding reports, in just 24 hours, there were three explosions in the city of Malmo, in southern Sweden.  This included a bomb which ripped through two apartment buildings on Friday evening. The scale of this assault (which is mostly the result of violence between foreign-born gangs) is such that Neuding says that it is time for Swedes to admit that they have a national emergency on their hands.

They won’t, of course.  Because there is almost no political or media desire to face up to or even report these problems because they fear that to do so would give ammunition to political parties which have long warned about such problems. It would also open up a debate over whether the migration and asylum policies which Sweden has enacted in this past generation are remotely wise or sustainable. Anyhow — one for the history books, most likely. But an interesting reminder that after the titters have died down, events do grind remorselessly on.

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