Sweden Day 4 with Dr. Devon Smith: January 11, 2018

Last night we flew from Stockholm to Copenhagen Denmark and from there we drove to Malmö, Sweden. For some background, Malmo is one of the larger cities in Sweden with a population of ~300,000. This city has been the site of relocation for many of the immigrants coming to Sweden from the Middle East and Northern African in the last two years. Malmö is also the city in Sweden where 4 gang rapes have happened since November. 

We strolled the streets around our hotel when we got in last night and while the streets were almost deserted, they were certainly safe and Malmö proper is quite picturesque. We started today by venturing from the hotel to a ”no-go” zone, Rosengard an area which houses many immigrants, new and old.  We were in this alleged “no-go” zone for approximately 1 hour and never once did any of us feel unsafe. The few people that we did encounter, were more than happy to give a friendly wave. 

Following our visit to Rosengard, one of my colleagues, Jonathan, after much persuasion  was able to get a one on one interview with an Imam at a local Mosque. His conversation was very telling and echoed some of the other opinions we’ve heard. The Imam expressed frustration with both the government and followers of radical islam. In terms of the government, the Imam expressed concern over the amount of immigrants that Sweden has allowed

We spent the afternoon traveling to two other “no-go” zones and again the term seems to be an extreme exaggeration. One of these areas was in fact where two gang-rapes happened. despite that tragic information the area was lively and felt very safe. I was able to talk to a few people living in Malmö and all of the women I spoke mentioned that they feel relatively safe (even with the history of the gang rapes). Perhaps the more interesting conversation was with a young male who has been living in Malmö for about a year. He mentioned to me, that in the last year he felt as though people were less active in the evenings and less comfortable walking around at night, that people are home by 4-5pm rather than 8-9pm.  He attributed this change to the rise in criminal and gang related activity. 

 

Again this story highlights to me that the Swedish people are so devastatingly proud of their ability to be accepting that they will never admit that perhaps they didn’t handle immigration in the best way but they will never admit wrong doing. In fact, I literally feel like I’m surrounded by Swedish robots programmed only to say the PC things.