sexta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2016

The covering up of the sex attack in Sweden did not surprise me

The cover up of the sex attack perpetrated by some immigrants in Sweden did not surprise me because integration and immigration are not topics seriously debated in Sweden. In fact has become a habit to label people who criticises or questions the current integration and immigration policies racists. The media in Sweden are also to be blamed - the few times the two main newspapers Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet discusses integration/immigration is with some hesitation leaving those topics largely in the hands of the extreme left and right segments of society. 

The Swedish government has for a long time swept integration and other issues related to foreigners under the carpet, in this way allowing machismo mentality and radical Islam to thrive in some boroughs. 

Last year an outspoken activist Zaliha Dagli in this article said that fundamentalists are taking over the borough of Husby and that she did not feel as free as she wishes without being under observation or regarded with suspicion. Nalin Pekgul a well-known politician and debater describes in her book "Jag är ju svensk" how fundamentalists has strengthen their position and power allowing them to radicalise and harass boys and girls. Those problems are not just the fault of poverty as often portrayed by some politicians. There are also more reasons that needs to be addressed and not silenced so that the reputation of hard-working and well-behaved foreigners are not tarnish because of a few jackasses or foreigners with hidden agendas.

One year ago I, for the sake of curiosity, was present in the pride festival organised by the far right in Tensta, one of the Stockholm Borough were many resident are foreigners mostly from Middle East and North Africa. I could not stop thinking about why the pride organisers did not include this place or Rinkeby in their program? Have they forgotten that in Sweden there are many gays and lesbians with other backgrounds than native Swedes living in these areas? And Politicians and activists who have become known for "standing" or "defending" foreigners on TV and newspapers why won't they there to talk about the struggles this group goes through in these communities?

How credible can Swedish politicians be in criticizing Countries with limited freedom of expression when they themselves follow self censorship in order to be politically correct about integration/immigration? 
Some foreigners are also to be blamed for the failures of integration. Take for instance the previously mentioned case of Zahila Dagli where some foreigners in Sweden spoke out against her refusing to accept the situation she and some others there experiences. In my opinion they should instead have demonstrated in the same way as they do against the far right party - some of the extremists in these boroughs are just as fascistic!
Some musicians in the hip-hop community, writers and feminists with immigrant background have made poverty and discrimination a "credo" but keep their mouth shut when it comes to matters such as radical Islam, youth criminality and patriarchal values and so on...thriving in some boroughs of the Country which also undermines integration. By the way these topics monopolised by those artists and feminists are in my opinion often blown out of portion - it does not correspond with the way Sweden are welcoming many refugees giving access to the welfare system with free or subsidised education, health care, housing and allowances. As matter of fact according to OECD many foreigners in Sweden are unemployed not because of racism but rather because they lack required education and the number of unqualified jobs are few. 
The current actions of the Swedish establishment driven by political gain, can not continue or this will undermine not only integration but also democracy, allowing parallels societies in the Country to thrive. 

A pluralistic and democratic society should in my opinion treat and judge people as individual. No one should be above the law. For me all citizens and guests in the Country should be treat equal. We all have rights but also obligations to fulfil. I would also like to remind the media and politicians to not treat foreigners as homogeneous group because we are not. We come from different countries were habits and customs differs from one another.
I would like to dedicate this article to my hard-working, open-minded and well-integrated friends.  

Med Vänlig hälsing, 


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