Sweden: Is Islam Compatible with Democracy?/Part I of a Series: The Islamization of Sweden
Ingrid Carlqvist/Gatestone Institute/
It is not a secret that democracy can be used to abolish democracy.
It may have finally begun to dawn on the people that Swedish Sweden will soon be lost forever, and in many areas replaced by a Middle Eastern state of affairs, where different immigrant groups (mainly Muslims) make war on each other as well as on the Swedes.
According to Dr. Peter Hammond, in his book Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, the goal of Islam is not to convert the whole world, but rather, to establish sharia law all over the world.
There is no country where Islam is dominant that can be considered a democracy with freedom of speech and equal justice under law.
In Sweden’s last census in which citizens were asked about their religious beliefs, in 1930, fifteen people said that they were Muslims. Since 1975, when Sweden started its transformation from a homogenous, Swedish country into a multicultural and multi-religious one, the number of Muslims has exploded. Now, approximately one million Muslims live here — Sunni, Shia and Ahmadiyya from all the corners of the world — and Mosques are built and planned all over the country.
No one, however, seems to have asked the crucial question upon which Sweden’s future depends: Is Islam compatible with democracy?
The Swedish establishment has not grasped that Islam is more than a private religion, and therefore it dismisses all questions about Islam with the argument that Sweden has freedom of religion.
Two facts point to Islam not being compatible with democracy. First, there is no country where Islam is dominant that can be considered a democracy with freedom of speech and equal justice under law. Some point to Malaysia and Indonesia — two countries where flogging and other corporal punishments are meted out, for example, to women showing too much hair or skin, as well as to anyone who makes fun of, questions or criticizes Islam. Others point to Turkey as an example of an “Islamic democracy” — a country which routinely imprisons journalists, political dissidents and random people thought to have “offended” President Erdogan, “Islam” or “the nation.”
Second, Muslims in Europe vote collectively. In France, 93% of Muslims voted for the current president, François Hollande, in 2012. In Sweden, the Social Democrats reported that 75% of Swedish Muslims voted for them in the general election of 2006; and studies show that the “red-green” bloc gets 80-90% of the Muslim vote.
It is no secret that democracy can be used to abolish democracy — yet, this crucial issue is completely taboo in Sweden. Politicians, authorities and journalists all see Islam as just another religion. They seem to have no clue that Islam is also a political ideology, a justice system (sharia) and a specific culture that has rules for virtually everything in a person’s life: how to dress; who your friends should be; which foot should go first when you enter the bathroom. Granted, not all Muslims follow all these rules, but that does not change the fact that Islam aspires to control every aspect of human life — the very definition of a totalitarian ideology.
While the establishment closes its eyes to the problems that come with a rapidly growing Muslim population in Sweden, ordinary Swedes seem to be growing increasingly upset. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, however, appears to be at a complete loss as to why this is. He recently told the British newspaper, Financial Times:
“But the more surreal thing is that all the numbers are going in the right direction, but the picture the public have is that the country is now going in the wrong direction. It’s not only a question about if they are afraid of the refugee crisis; it’s as if everything is going in the wrong direction.”
This comment says a lot about how disconnected Prime Minister Löfven is from the reality that ordinary Swedes are facing. The mainstream media withhold information about most of the violence that goes on in, and around, the asylum houses in the country, and it is not very likely that Stefan Löfven reads the alternative media sites; he and others in power have, in unison, dubbed them “hate sites.” He obviously has no idea about the anger and despair many Swedes are now feeling. It may have finally begun to dawn on them that Swedish Sweden will soon be lost forever, and in many areas replaced by a Middle Eastern state of affairs where different immigrant groups (mainly Muslims) make war on each other as well as on the Swedes.
The people suffering most cruelly in the “New Sweden” are the elderly. The costs of immigration borne by the welfare state have led to a quarter of a million retirees living below the EU poverty line. Meanwhile, the government recently added another 30 billion kronor (about $3.6 billion) to the migration budget. The 70 billion kronor ($8.4 billion) Sweden will spend on asylum seekers in 2016 is more than what the entire police force and justice system cost, more than national defense costs, and twice the amount of child benefits.
Sweden’s 9.5 million residents are thus forced to spend 70 billion kronor on letting citizens of other countries come in. In comparison, the United States, with its 320 million residents, spent $1.56 billion on refugees in 2015. The editorial columnist PM Nilsson commented in the business paper, Dagens Industri:
“To understand the scope of the increase in spending, a historic look back can be worthwhile. When the right bloc came to power in 2006, the cost was 8 billion [kronor] a year. In 2014, it had gone up to 24 billion. That summer, then Minister of Finance Anders Borg talked about the increase being the most dramatic shift in the state budget he had ever seen. The year after, 2015, the cost rose to 35 billion, and in 2016, it is projected to rise to 70 billion.”
For many years, the politicians managed to fool the Swedish people into thinking that even if immigration presented an initial cost, the immigrants would soon enable the country to turn a profit. Now, more and more research indicates that the asylum seeker immigrants rarely or never find work. The daily newspaper Sydsvenskan reported in February, for example, that 64% of Malmö’s immigrants are still unemployed after living in Sweden for ten years. The government openly calculates in its budget that in four years, 980,000 people will be living on either sickness benefits, disability pensions, unemployment benefits, “introduction benefits” or social welfare.
Swedes, who for many years have paid the highest taxes in the world without whining, are now taking to social media to express their anger that their money is going to citizens of other countries. More and more Swedes are choosing to emigrate from Sweden, mainly to the other Nordic countries, but also to Spain, Portugal and Great Britain, where taxes on pensions are considerably less.
But there are worse problems than the economic aspect. A sense of insecurity and fear has gripped the many Swedes who live close to asylum houses. On some level, the government seems to have grasped that danger: in a recent decision to continue maintaining border controls, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman wrote:
“The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap), MSB, makes the assessment that the flow of migrants still brings challenges to upholding security in society, when it comes to the ability to maintain certain important public functions, among other things. Several of these challenges are expected to persist over time. The Police Authority’s assessment is still that a serious threat to public order and internal security exists. The Immigration Service still advocates border controls.”
Despite these ominous words, politicians still do not seem to understand that many Swedes are already experiencing “a serious threat to public order and internal security.” New asylum houses are opening at an alarming pace, against the will of the people living near them. In the Stockholm suburb of Spånga-Tensta, on April 15, local authorities held a public meeting, the purpose of which was to allow local residents to ask the politicians and officials questions about planned housing for 600 migrants — next to a school. The meeting, which was filmed, showed a riotous mood among those gathered there, many shouting that they were going to fight “until their last breath” to keep the plans from materializing.
Some of the comments and questions were:
“We have seen how many problems there have been at other asylum houses – stabbings, rapes and harassment. How can you guarantee the safety for us citizens? This is going to create a sense of us against them, it’s going to create hate! Why these large houses, why not small ones with ten people in each? Why haven’t you asked us, the people who live here, if we want this? How will you make this safe for us?”
“We already have problems at the existing asylum houses. It’s irresponsible of you to create a situation where we put our own and our children’s health in jeopardy, with people who are not feeling well and are in the wrong environment. Why is this house right next to a school? What is your analysis?”
“Will Swedes be allowed to live in these houses? Our young people have nowhere to live. You politicians should solve the housing issue for the people already living here, not for all the people in the world.”
When the chairman of the meeting, Green Party representative Awad Hersi, of Somali descent, thanked the audience for the questions without giving any answers, the mood approached that of a lynch mob. People shouted: “Answer! Answer our questions! We demand answers!”
Everything points to the so far docile Swedes now having had enough of the irresponsible immigration policy that has been going on for many years, under socialist and conservative governments alike.
People are furious at the wave of rapes that have given Sweden the second-highest rate of rape in the world, after only Lesotho, and that recently forced the Östersund police to issue a warning to women and girls not to go outside alone after dark. People are scared: the number of murders and manslaughters has soared. During the first three months of this year alone, there have been 40 murders and 57 attempted murders, according to statistics compiled by the journalist Elisabeth Höglund.
The authorities have long claimed that lethal violence in Sweden is on the decline, but that is compared to a record-breaking year, 1989, when mass immigration to Sweden was already in full swing. If one instead were to compare the present to the 1950s and 1960s, when Sweden was still a homogenous country, the number of murders and manslaughters has doubled. Recently, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet), BRÅ, had to admit that lethal violence did, in fact, increase in 2015, when 112 people were killed — 25 more than the year before. It was also revealed that the kind of lethal violence that has gone down was run-of-the-mill drunken homicides committed by Swedes, while the number of gangster-style hits carried out by immigrants has gone up dramatically. Improved trauma care for wounded victims also helps keep the number of murders and manslaughters down.
A recent poll showed that 53% of Swedes now think immigration is the most important issue facing the country. The change from 2015 is dramatic — last year, only 27% said that immigration was most important. Another poll showed that 70% of Swedes feel that the amount of immigration to Sweden is too high. This is the fourth year in a row that skepticism about the magnitude of immigration has increased.
More and more people also seem to worry about the future of Sweden as a democracy with an increasing number of Muslims — through continued immigration as well as Muslim women having significantly more children than Swedish women do.
As statistics on religious beliefs are no longer kept, no one knows exactly how many Muslims are in Sweden. Last year, a poll showed that Swedes believe 17% of the population is Muslim, while the actual number, according to the polling institute Ipsos Mori, may be more like 5%. The company does not account for how it arrived at this number, and it is in all likelihood much too low. Ipsos Mori probably counted how many members Muslim congregations and organizations have, but as Islam is also a culture, and the country is equally affected by the Muslims who do not actively practice their faith, yet live according to Islamic culture.
In 2012, the Swedish alternative newspaper, Dispatch International, calculated how many Muslims were registered residents of Sweden at that time, based on the Swedish name registry. The number the paper arrived at was 574,000, plus or minus 20,000. For obvious reasons, illegals and asylum seekers were not included. The actual number may therefore have been much higher.
Since then, close to 300,000 people have sought asylum in Sweden. Not all of them have had their applications approved, but despite that, very few actually leave Sweden. The Immigration Service told Gatestone Institute that only 9,700 people were deported last year. Most asylum seekers are Muslim, which means that the number of Muslims in Sweden is fast approaching one million, or 10% of the population.
In his book Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, published in 2005, Dr. Peter Hammond describes what has always happened throughout history when the number of Muslims in a country increases. Admittedly generalities, Hammond outlines the following:
As long as the Muslims make up about 1%, they are generally considered a peace-loving minority who do not bother anyone.
At 2-3%, some start proselytizing to other minorities and disgruntled groups, especially in prison and among street gangs.
At 5%, Muslims have an unreasonably large influence relative to their share of the population. Many demand halal slaughtered meat, and have been pushing the food industry to produce and sell it. They have also started to work toward the government giving them autonomy under sharia law. Hammond writes that the goal of Islam is not to convert the whole world, but rather, to establish sharia law all over the world.
When Muslims reach 10%, historically, lawlessness increases. Some start to complain about their situation, start riots and car fires, and threaten people they feel insult Islam.
At 20%, violent riots erupt, jihadi militia groups are formed, people are murdered, and churches and synagogues are set ablaze.
When the Muslims reach 40% of the population, there are widespread massacres, constant terror attacks and militia warfare.
At 60%, there is the possibility of uninhibited persecution of non-Muslims, sporadic ethnic cleansing, possible genocide, implementation of sharia law and jizya (the tax for “protection” that unbelievers must pay).
When there are 80% Muslims in the country, they have taken control of the government apparatus and are, as in, for instance, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, committing violence in the name of Islam or political power.
When 100% are Muslims, the peace in the house of Islam is supposed to come — hence the claim that Islam is the “religion of peace.”
Hammond also writes that in many countries, such as France, Belgium, Great Britain and Sweden, most of the Muslim population lives in Islamic enclaves — and apparently prefer not to be assimilated into a Western society. This detachment strengthens the group internally, allowing them to exercise greater power than their share of the population might indicate.
Hammond’s description of the 10%-limit accurately describes Sweden. In the so-called exclusion areas, there are car torchings every day, and riots occur in the cities. (To name but a few examples, there were serious riots in Malmö 2008, Gothenburg 2009, Stockholm 2013, and Norrköping and Växjö 2015.) Sometimes, the unrest starts after a local Muslim has been arrested or shot by the police. Muslim leaders then immediately say they sympathize with their people’s reaction. During the Husby riots in 2013, Rami Al-Khamisi of the youth organization “Megafonen” wrote: “We can see why people are reacting this way.”
The artist Lars Vilks, who drew the Muslim prophet Muhammed as a roundabout dog, has been the target of several assassination attempts, and now lives under round-the-clock police protection.
Yet, almost no one in Sweden is willing to speak of these problems and how it all fits together. For months, Gatestone Institute has called politicians, civil servants, organizations and various minority groups, to ask how they feel about Islam in Sweden. Do they think Islam is compatible with democracy, freedom of speech and legal equality — and if so, in what way or what way not?
The questions seemed to provoke anger as well as fear. Some of the people we called said they were angry at the mere questions, but assured the callers that Islam poses no problem whatsoever for Sweden. Others appeared frightened and refused to answer altogether. In the hopes of getting at least some honest answers, we presented ourselves as ordinary, concerned Swedes. Countless people hung up the phone, and in general, many answers pointed to an abysmal ignorance about what Islam is, what consequences the Islamization of a country might have, or how much trouble Sweden really is in. The country appears totally unprepared for what lies ahead.
Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist and author based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.
Follow Ingrid Carlqvist on Twitter