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News Riots put Sweden's open-door immigration policy in spotlight

  1. May 30, 2013 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2013 #2


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    Being an immigrant myself, things like this make me feel nervous about what will happen to people's views on immigrants in general :uhh:
  4. May 30, 2013 #3


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    Public opinion of immigrants is highly correlated to the economy, IMO. Here in the US most people are very welcoming, but there was a slight backlash during this last recession. Still, since most people are only one or two generations away from being "fresh off the boat", most Americans are quite tolerant -- as long as the immigrants integrates into the culture.

    I know nothing about how quickly Sweden integrates its immigrants. That's the key. If grandchildren of immigrants are not fully integrated, that's an issue.
  5. May 30, 2013 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    The European view on immigration and assimilation is different than the American one. In America, being born there is enough. In Europe, things are different: until very recently, you could be born in Switzwerland of parents born in Switzerland of grandparents born in Switzerland and still not be a Swiss citizen. In France you will read about 2nd generation immigrants (immigrés de deuxième génération) regularly, while in the US a second-generation immigrant is more likely to be called simply a natural born citizen. Indeed, the word deuxième, as opposed to seconde, implies a series going beyond two.

    I've lived in France but not Sweden, but it would not surprise me if neither the immigrants nor the rest of the population thinks of them as completely Swedish.
  6. May 31, 2013 #5
    As a swedish citizen, I can give some input. I think one of the main problems with the integration in Sweden, is that they have not forced the immigrants to distribute more equally around the country. Right now, all immigrants have ended up in in very few places, some suburbs in Stockholm and Malmö are infamous for being low quality neighborhoods with very high immigrant count. One of those is the one that now has riots.

    From living a few years also in Germany, it seems that the problems there are very similar. The immigrants often come from the same part of the world, and thus have the same previous culture. When they all go live in another country, they just gather so many at one place that they can basically form a complete subcommunity, where they never have any incitament to try to integrate into the new culture.
  7. May 31, 2013 #6


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    Why should they integrate -- much less be forced to?
  8. May 31, 2013 #7
    To convince Swedes that letting them in was a good idea. It's too late not to let them in now, but public opinion will have an effect on future immigration policy
  9. May 31, 2013 #8
    I think the fears in europe are that certain ethnic groups in the near future will be numerous enough to start affecting policy and general culture. Countries will start to lose their identity. France and Italy have both been in the news lately regarding their illegal immigrants from North Africa.

    I believe the Boston Marathon bombers did not integrate. They didn't like American culture and had no American friends.
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  10. May 31, 2013 #9

    Because if they don't you'll get things like sharia micro-courts and acts of terrorism. The reason there is so much controversy and so many problems surrounding Islamic immigration into Europe is because such huge numbers refuse integration and actively despise Western society.
  11. Jun 3, 2013 #10
    Hmm, not integrate, I acutally have not considered that. This is also not discussed in the media or by the politicians at all. Can you think of any example throughout history were two vastly different cultures have lived side-by-side on the same space, peacefully? Remeber, the Islamic culture is completely opposite to that of Sweden in general, see this cultural map for instance. Also note that the foreign/islamic population in Sweden is very large, Sweden has the largest amount of non-EU immigrants per capita in all of europe (source).

    I can see several problems with not integrating, the biggest being that they have several cultural/law behaviors that is directly forbidden by Swedish law, for example the honor culture. In addition to direct law violations there are also a number of other cultural and economic problems, such as, if they are not contributing members of the society, how can we pay for all the welfare/education/healthcare etc that they would be entitled to, living in sweden?

    In the end, I would say that some form of integration is really necessary to be able to handle the situation at all.
  12. Jun 3, 2013 #11


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    I've always found this argument nonsense for two reasons.

    1) It ignores that integration doesn't have to be total. We're meant to be liberal democracies after all so there should be scope for groups of people to have different opinions that affect policy. The idea that we need to protect culture in some form of stasis implies that we should ditch our ideas about liberalism and keep Europe static.

    2) It ignores the reality that whilst immigration occurs and many immigrant families have more children than non-immigrants the growth rate of these minorities isn't anything like as high to believe that said migrant families will suddenly wield huge democratic power (and by the time they do culture would have inevitably changed anyway). It also ignores that the same reasons birth rates are low elsewhere in Europe (later pregnancies due to career options, lower infant mortality, lower need for children to take care of parents in old age, contraception etc) apply to migrants.
    You missed a massive IMO in this collection of uninformed nonsense. Did you get it from the EDL by any chance :rolleyes: for starters the vast majority of muslim communities in Europe get along just fine and peacefully, secondly if you're going to point to extreme religion and how it causes opposition to western society why not include the far greater number of catholics whose teachings contravene much of western societies values with regards to women and LGBT matters.
  13. Jun 3, 2013 #12
    Exactly, immigrants from other European countries are tolerated since they're from the same ethnicity, while Africans and Arabs aren't. Although this isn't the only factor, since East and South Asians are usually also very well tolerated, because they integrate very easily.
    Another factor is religion, Islamism will never be tolerated in Europe and IMO it shouldn't be.

    These immigration policies would already have been reversed if the anti-immigrant parties weren't associated with violence, which most are. For example, in the UK, according to a poll, almost half of voters would vote for a nationalist party if they gave up the violence: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ain-vote-far-Right-parties-gave-violence.html

    In regard to 1, we're democracies so we get to choose who we want in our country. Integration has to be total if the people decide so.

    They may not suddenly have a huge democratic power, but if nothing changes in some years they will.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  14. Jun 3, 2013 #13
    but ethnic block voting is real, and can influence general elections. For better or worse, didn't the hispanic vote help the democrats with the last American presidential election?

    but this thread isn't about extreme religion. it's about immigrants integrating (or not), specifically referencing the recent lot of un-integrated immigrants rioting in sweden. If catholic immigrants were burning cars en masse, I'm sure there'd be some backlash against catholic immigration too.
  15. Jun 3, 2013 #14


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    Do you think that if an ethnic block grew beyond a minority it would still be mostly uniform in political beliefs (assuming they are now)? It's a key point because it addresses the assumption that immigrants will just vote along one line rather than being as diverse and open to persuasion as anyone else.
    Aquitaines post was conflating the issue with religion by implying that the values of muslims are incompatible with European values. Regarding the riots why do you think it is a lot of un-integrated immigrants? Why don't you consider this a minority of a minority rather than automatically representative?
  16. Jun 3, 2013 #15
    I don't think immigrants will just "vote along one line rather than being as diverse and open to persuasion as anyone else"... if they assimilate! It seems that I'm not the only one who thinks so:

    http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~bgrofman/36 Landa-Copeland-Grofman-Ethnic voting patterns Toronto.pdf

    The values of everyone other than europeans are incompatible with european values. actually, values are quite different in different regions of europe. People manage to get along by adopting the values of their host country. To answer your question: no, I don't think the rioters were particularly well integrated (am I wrong? is rioting a big thing among ethnic swedes?). I'd guess that the rioters themselves are a minority of a minority, but that's besides the point. Do well integrated immigrant communities produce lots of riots?

    Also, the attempts to introduce Sharia courts and acts of terrorism that aquitaine mentioned are both real events that you addressed by rolling your eyes.
  17. Jun 3, 2013 #16


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    You miss my point: political and cultural diversity are European values. You can't simultaneously argue that people must significantly integrate yet support diversity. I'm British and my political and cultural beliefs differ greatly on a lot of the status quo. Should I be made to "integrate"? Why is it acceptable for me to be different but not for immigrants and the children of immigrants?
    The assumption here being that rioting is because they haven't integrated. Would a Swedish national who rioted be judged to not be integrated into Swedish culture? Probably not.
    I role my eyes at his hyperbole that radical Islam is such a big threat, especially as it relates to immigrant muslims and descendants of immigrant muslims.
  18. Jun 5, 2013 #17


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    How is that consistent with recent events in London, about which you started a thread, and before that the Exeter bombing, the Glasgow Airport attack, and 7/7 attacks, all of which were perpetrated by Islamist extremists.
  19. Jun 5, 2013 #18

    Ben Niehoff

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    It did. But we don't consider the Hispanic population of our country to be mere half-citizens. So their votes, however they choose to cast them, are as valid as anyone's.

    To me the general European attitude toward immigration is absurd.
  20. Jun 5, 2013 #19
    that will be a fantastic rebuttal if anyone ever makes the argument that their votes aren't valid for some reason.
  21. Jun 6, 2013 #20


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    In 2011, the number of religiously motivated acts of terrorism in europe amounted to an impressive number of 0 according to europol (https://www.europol.europa.eu/sites/default/files/publications/europoltsat.pdf) out of 174 total. In 2012 it was 3 out of 249. About two thirds of these terror attacks come from separatist groups like ETA. So radical islamists are indeed not the huge problem out there.

    In the US, the situation is not much different. Due to the FBI (http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/terror02_05#terror_05sum), islamists were responsible for roughly 6% of terror acts in the USA between 1980 and 2005 (yes I know - not the most up-to-date data). 42% were committed by latinos, 24% by the extreme left and 7% by jewish extremists.

    Although I kind of understand the focus on islamists due to the dimension of 9/11, I think the media coverage on radical islamist terror acts is way larger compared to similar acts performed with a different motivation, thereby making it seem like a bigger threat than it actually is.
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