A riot broke out in Stockholm soon after the US president said immigration was causing problems
You dont have to look very hard in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby to identify some of the problem youths who ran riot here. As automobiles were set on fire and police were pelted with stones on Monday, Rinkeby observed itself centre stage in the furore that followed Donald Trumps assert that immigration was bringing Sweden problems like they never guessed possible.
A gaggle of young men of Somali and east African origin hover around Rinkeby Grillen, a burger and kebab bar on the station car park where the riot happened.
I have this nice weed, grins the tallest of them, clothe in a thick hooded wintertime coat to ward off the icy climate. You can put that in your article: write Rinkeby is like Amsterdam. We all smoke this nice weed.
He then jokily claims participation in Mondays police skirmish. You can call me Hassan the stone thrower! he says, causing his friend, who calls himself Jamal Raheem, to hoot that was real good, human, in a variant of English that will be familiar to anyone who lives in London.
What is immediately apparent about these young men is that they havent imported their problem culture to Sweden from the poverty-stricken districts of Afghanistan or the bombed-out suburbs of Aleppo, but from the US and the UK. A lot of them were born in Britain, says Amir Zujovic, part of the large police presence keeping the peace in the suburbium. Its not unusual if you catch someone selling medications, when you look at their record, you see that they have also committed crimes in England.
These young men are revelling in “members attention” they have been getting since international Tv crews and journalists arrived, many seeking to portray the suburbium as a lawless, crime-ridden disaster area. This thing has been very big, we have become very famous, screams one who refuses to give his name. Weve had Australian Tv, American TV, everybody!
The riot came after two days in which Trump had been ridiculed for telling his supporters: You look at whats happening last night in Sweden, in spite of the fact that nothing of any significance had happened.( It subsequently emerged he had been referring to a clip from a documentary on Fox News .)
So when some youths fought off the police who had come to arrest a local rapper, and then spent the next hour torching a handful of cars, breaking into a branch of Lidl and assaulting a photographer, it got blanket coverage.
And on Friday, Trump himself quoth it as proof that he had been right all along. I took a lot of heat on Sweden. And then a day subsequently I said: Has anybody reported whats going on? And it turned out not too many of them did, he said in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. The people over there understand Im right.
In fact, while many people in Sweden probably believed the 160,000 asylum seekers the country took in in 2015 was too many, few would agree that the country is facing insurmountable problems as a result. Trumps statements first forced the Swedish foreign ministry to make an official request for clarification, and then, on Thursday, to launch a new English-language web page, Facts about Migration and Crime in Sweden, which reports that crime in Sweden has been falling for 20 years, despite high levels of immigration.
On Friday, the former rightwing “ministers ” Carl Bildt wrote a comment article, The Truth about Refugees in Sweden, in which he argued that the 100,000 refugees Sweden took from Bosnia when he was in power had constructed Sweden a better country. I regret that President Trump is slandering our country in his attempts to find reasons for what he wants to do in closing off the United States, he wrote. If it were not for the massive turmoil that could ensue, I would exhort him to skip one of his golfing weekends and come to us and assure for himself.
Many local people are also upset by the tone of much of the coverage. Police officer Hanif Azizi told Mail Online: When we sat in the car and considered the riots, I tapped my colleague on the shoulder and said, perhaps Trump was right after all. But he is anxious to point out that is not all he said. Its quite unfair when they take one sentence and leave everything else out, he says. I get really sad when I see that they are trying to twisting everything to fit a political agenda.
Read more: www.theguardian.com