Refugee Crisis in Sweden: Conflicted Views about Refugees

The Refugee Crisis and the prospect of refugees around the world have caused a wave of opinions and feelings. Some see this massive migration as an opportunity to be human and help others in need, others strongly believe it’s not their country’s problem and they should not be welcome because they bring trouble. Sweden if one of the countries with conflicting internal views about refugees.

Sweden has a welcome policy for refugees. Since WWII they have welcomed thousands of refugees. People running away from war came to Sweden from Denmark, Norway, Hungary, Finland, Iran, Somalia, even politically persecuted men from Pinochet’s dictatorship.

In the past 15 years, Sweden has received at least 650,000 refugees and they keep coming in.

What is Sweden Doing about the Refugee Crisis?

Between 2010 and 2015 alone, around 163,000 Muslim immigrants arrived in Sweden. Mainstream media outlets often refer to it as the Refugee Crisis. Syrian refugees are all over the globe looking for shelter, and the Swedish government has done everything in their power to accept them in their country. There are so many people seeking shelter, that things get out of control sometimes.

Back in the American presidential election, Donald Trump used a fake attack in Swede as an example of what happens when you open up your arms to refugees. He just wanted to support the immigrant ban policy with European facts… but the Swedish media, within minutes, denied his “facts”, nothing had happened that night.

The incident left a bitter taste with the Swedish government, so days after the speech, they launched a campaign on social networks about their immigration policies. The intention was to make it clear that Sweden was a growing country and that, contrary to what the international press had reported, its levels of violence have decreased over the past 20 years.

A terrorist attack recorded in the Nordic country occurred in 2010, where an Iraqi citizen detonated two bombs in Stockholm. The government clarified that there were no links to international terrorist groups and that the refugee community should not be singled out as part of this incident.

The last attack, which could be described more as the work of a mentally unbalanced person than terrorism per se, occurred in 2017. A man from Uzbekistan applied for residence in Sweden but was denied two years later. Upon request for eviction, the man disappeared from the radar of authorities, eventually crashing a vehicle into a tent in broad daylight a few months later.

Refugee Crisis in Sweden: Sifting through the Facts to Find the Truth

On the one hand, we have the Swedish government telling us that they have certain issues involving refugees, but it isn’t as bad as the media shows us, and on the other hand, we have 22% of refugees unemployed and fighting each other over religion and politics.

It is not easy to welcome 160,000 people, including 20,000 children that are completely alone. The state has done its best to find them a home and work, but it is simply impossible to attend to all cases. Government representatives acknowledge that there is an increase in the number of rape reports. They say, however, that the concept of “rape” has changed over the years and that modern times have widened the range of crimes applying to this type of complaint, implying that there aren’t more violations, but more complaints that fit the description of rape.

Anders Thornberg, director of the Swedish security service, does not deny that there are investigations into possible terrorist threats but emphasizes a great deal of disinformation that is going on around the world about refugee policies in Sweden.

Until now, one could think that this is an effort of the government to mask their failures in the investigation of refugees and their continuance in the country. But if we take into account that there will be elections in Sweden this year and that extreme right-wing parties are using anti-refugee policies to increase their votes, we should read between the lines of what is happening.

Refugee Crisis Fake News

Stories about Muslims vandalizing Catholic churches or the Swedish government allegedly buying arms from Ukraine and ex-military groups to battle Eurosceptics are some of the fake news Thornberg’s talking about. The aim seems to be to divide public opinion and reduce credibility in the Swedish government.

Social psychology and sociology have studied mass migrations for years. The truth of this story is that no matter how good the intentions o the Swedish government, there must be strict migratory controls that allow the State to maintain the security of its citizens.

We are not talking about Trump’s seven countries ban-list, but about studying case by case to identify possible terrorist cells and to guarantee that these refugees have an appropriate introduction to the new culture, so that they do not feel alienated and eventually intend to go against it.

About Daniela D. Franco

Daniela is a Social Psychologist from Venezuela, she is interested in the changes technology and the development of social networks generate into human interactions, and is currently studying Digital Marketing. She enjoys reading, writing and biking while David Bowie is playing in her iPod.

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