Children are being sexually exploited. Hordes of men are sexually assaulting women. Cars are being set on fire while hand grenades are lobbed at the police.
No, this is not a Third World country, nor is it an American inner-city neighborhood. This is Sweden, the formerly peaceful Nordic land of hardworking Lutherans.
But the country is not as peaceful as it once was. Last New Year’s Eve, gangs of young men, described as “unaccompanied from Afghanistan,” surrounded and molested women in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city. The police and media managed to keep the story under wraps for 11 days afterward.
The reality is sexual assaults have become common in Sweden. At the music festival We Are Sthlm last week, there were seven reports of sexual harassment on the first day alone.
This was despite the fact Swedish police had ramped up security measures following a rash of assaults at the prior two years’ festivals. In January, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported police had covered up a total of 36 incidents of sexual assault and two rape allegations at the 2014 and 2015 We Are Sthlm festivals.
Again, almost all the perpetrators were described as refugee youths from Afghanistan, and now right-wing groups in Sweden have accused the police and media of deliberately not reporting the assaults in order to not encourage anti-immigrant sentiments.
Rather than saying anything that might upset immigration advocates, Swedish police started an anti-groping armband campaign. Officers handed out bracelets at major youth events, such as We Are Sthlm, that read, “Police cordon #don’t grope.”
Swedish author and researcher Nima Sanandaji, president of the think tank European Centre for Entrepreneurship and Policy Reform, wrote this recently about the bracelet campaign.
“The campaign has upset many in Sweden, as well as abroad, who doubt that those willing to commit sexual assaults care about the message printed on small plastic bracelets. Lisen Andreasson Florman, who leads a voluntary group with the goal of creating safer environments at festivals, has explained that little is done to stop the assaults,” he wrote.
“She herself, while wearing [a] work outfit, was surrounded by three men who acted in a far from acceptable way. ‘And the three men had those don’t grope bracelets on them,’ Lisen has said, continuing to explain, ‘it was so surreal.'”
Despite the #don’t grope campaign, more than 100 charges of sexual harassment and rape had been made across seven music festivals this summer in Sweden, according to Swedish public radio. When a journalist asked Dan Eliasson, Sweden’s national police commissioner, how many suspected gropers police had been able to catch and bring to justice, Eliasson replied it was far too few. The journalist informed the police commissioner the correct answer was one single person.
Eliasson tried to shift the burden to the journalist, saying “If you could tell me how we could work in a smarter way to find out how one gropes.” However, the journalist interjected that this was not his job but Eliasson’s job.
Commenting on the exchange, Sanandaji, author of “Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism,” wrote: “This bizarre interview captures part of the reason for why Sweden, and to a certain degree other Northern European countries, are unable to meet social tension. A focus on public relations has crowded out traditional police work. Theoretical debates have taken the place of firm action. While the strive to focus more on dialogue than violence is an admirable action by the police force, it has led to an odd situation – with the head of police acting in a way that makes Chief Wiggum from the Simpsons look like a star.”
Sanandaji recently updated Americans on the devastation immigrants have brought to Malmo, Sweden, and the apathy of police toward the attacks.
“A large number of children, immigrant children, are being used in sex trade,” Sanandaji said. “The police know about this, the immigration services know about this – nobody’s doing anything. They’re not even filing these cases.
“So we have mass-scale sexual trade of children, the things you have in deep Afghanistan happening in Malmo. Nobody does anything about this, and another thing we have in Malmo is cars are being burned… Every day now for the last, I think, two weeks, they’re burning cars, and Malmo is a city where throwing hand grenades toward the police is a common news item.
“We’re talking about Sweden. It used to be a super peaceful country where nothing of this sort used to happen.”