On New Year's Eve, the same kind of mass sexual assaults that happened to women in Cologne -- in Arabic called "Taharrush" -- also took place in Sweden, but the police and the media have chosen to bury the information. The men, it turned out, were mainly Afghan, and claiming to be "unaccompanied refugee children."
In reality, many of them are much older than 18, and are now commonly referred to with the recently coined name, "Rapefugees," rather than "refugee children."
It recently emerged that the Immigration Service urged its administrators to accept as a "child" everyone who looked under the age of 40 -- apparently without any thought as to how inappropriate it is to place grown men in elementary and secondary schools with teenage girls. As Sweden -- until December -- kept its doors wide open to the migrants of the world, the country has accepted vastly more asylum seekers than its Nordic neighbors. Statistics for 2012-2015 are available via Eurostat, and provide the following statistics on the number of migrant arrivals:
- Sweden: 342,635
- Norway: 63,370
- Denmark: 41,290
- Finland: 40,470
- Iceland: 675
Many who seek asylum in Sweden come from war-torn Syria: 51,338 in 2015. Afghanistan comes in at second place with 41,564 for the last year -- an increase of a staggering 1,239% compared to 2014. Most of the Afghans seeking asylum claim to be children, and are therefore fast-tracked to being admitted within six months of the asylum application.
A few days after the story broke on the "Circle of Hell" attacks in Cologne, the alternative media website Nyheter Idag revealed that the respected daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, had known about similar attacks at a music festival in Stockholm in August 2015, but had declined to write about it.
Possibly to defend itself against accusations of a cover-up, Dagens Nyheter furiously attacked the Stockholm police. The newspaper claimed that the police had refused to corroborate reports of the attacks, thus tying the publishers' hands and preventing the newspaper from running the story. Dagens Nyheter even claimed that a high-ranking police officer said, "This is a sore spot. Sometimes we are afraid to tell the truth because that might benefit the Sweden Democrats. The police do need to take responsibility for this."
The police have accepted the blame -- partly. The National Police Chief, Dan Eliasson, has now been tasked with investigating why the information was withheld.
Political decisions are not supposed to be made by the police. The leader of the Sweden Democrats Party, Jimmie Åkesson, reacted strongly to his party even being mentioned in this context, and demanded that National Police Chief Eliasson immediately be removed from office. Eliasson has long been a controversial figure. He started his career as a bass player in the punk rock band Bad Boo Band, best known for the radio hit song "Knulla i Bangkok" (F**king in Bangkok"), released in 1979. After his music career faded, Eliasson pursued a career in politics and public administration, and worked closely with several government ministers of the Social Democrat Party. When the Social Democrats lost the election in 2006, he was appointed Director General of the Immigration Service (2007-2011); then became Director General of the Social Security Service. In January 2015, he was appointed National Police Chief.
Despite such a roaring career, Eliasson has, on several occasions, made a spectacle of himself. In June 2007, the former Chancellor of Justice, Göran Lambertz, revealed that Eliasson, then State Secretary with the Justice Department, tried to get Lambertz to stop criticizing flaws in the Swedish judicial system. Eliasson's request came after the Chancellor of Justice had initiated a report on the many Swedish men who had been wrongly convicted, mainly of sex crimes.
"I particularly remember meeting Bodström's [then Minister of Justice] State Secretary in May 2006," Lambertz said in a radio interview. "Eliasson made it clear that the minister would publicly renounce me if I did not tone down my criticism. I perceived this as undue influence."
As head of Social Services, Eliasson tweeted in February 2014 that the mere sight on TV of the Sweden Democrats' party leader, Jimmie Åkesson, made him physically sick. And now Eliasson is supposed to head an investigation into why the police withheld information on how "Rapefugees" attacked Swedish girls at the music festival "We Are Sthlm" [short for Stockholm] in August 2015?
When the news of the mass sexual assaults finally broke in early January, it was clear that the men involved had been so-called "unaccompanied refugee children." Some 90 young men were apprehended by the police in connection with the sexual assaults. "According to an internal police report," Dagens Nyheter wrote, "there was a large group of young people, 'mostly Afghan refugee kids', who stood out at the concert."
In a similar scandal, it was also recently revealed that Swedish girls were sexually assaulted by groups of young men "of foreign background" in the summer of 2015, during a music festival in Malmö's Pildammsparken park. The photographer Freddy Mardell told internet radio station Granskning Sverige that he witnessed the chaos, with crying, hysterical girls. Mardell took photographs and offered them to local daily newspaper, Kvällsposten. The newspaper declined to publish them.
Scenes from a Malmö summer music festival... Left: Four young men surround and sexually assault a young woman. Right: Police arrest a suspect, as sexual assault victims cry in the background. The photographer reported that Swedish girls were sexually assaulted by groups of young men "of foreign background."
It is also now clear that girls were attacked by large groups of Muslim men on New Year's Eve in the Swedish cities of Kalmar and Malmö as well. The daily newspaper Kvällsposten reported that "gangs of young men surrounded inebriated girls on New Year's Eve in Malmö." Incidents happened in several locations in Malmö city, around the King's Park and Central Station.
One police report read: "Something that stood out compared to earlier years was that a couple of hundred that I perceive as 'unaccompanieds from Afghanistan' drifted around the city, causing mayhem. There were several cases of large gangs surrounding mostly intoxicated girls/women and molesting them." In Kalmar, where people had gathered in the square, Larmtorget, to celebrate, several girls were subjected to sexual molestation. So far, 16-17 complaints have been filed to the police.
"Lisa" told the local paper, Barometern:
"We stood at the edge of the square at first, but we noticed immediately how many men were in the square and when we went out there, things got really unpleasant. These were men who did not speak Swedish, men of all ages. They surrounded us and started groping; they also took hold of people's heads and forcibly kissed their cheeks and foreheads. When we told them to leave or stop, they just laughed at us and asked 'What have I done?' We have all reported this to the police. It is outrageous that one should have to be afraid to go out at night or ride a bus alone in the evening. And we are not the only ones who have had this experience; I have girlfriends in Kalmar who say that they would rather not go out by themselves after dark. One thing is for sure, I will never celebrate New Year's in Kalmar again, I would rather stay with my parents at home."
Swedish feminists appear to be the group least upset by the "Rapefugee" attacks. They turn their backs on the victims by refusing to acknowledge that mass sexual abuse such as Taharrush is part of Sweden's new reality.
During the past week, newspapers have been overflowing with opinion pieces in which various feminists claim that these attacks have nothing to do with religion or ethnicity, but with the bare fact that the perpetrators are men. One can draw only one conclusion: Feminists would rather protect Muslim men from criticism than protect Swedish women from sexual assaults. A recurring theme in the articles is the assertion that ethnic Swedish men act exactly the same as migrant gang-rapists.
Remarks by feminists go:
- The common denominator in sexual abuse is gender, not ethnicity.
- Swedish men's views on women is no better.
- Criticism of sexual assaults by migrants is racism, disguised as concern for women.
- Closed borders are not the answer to sexual harassment.
The last article was written by Gudrun Schyman, an ex-communist and current leader of the Feminist Initiative Party. In an interview with the podcast, "The Feminist Inspection," Schyman said that mass sexual assaults are "nothing new" but "have been around for a very long time in all of our countries. "That is just how it is," Schyman claimed, "men take liberties when anonymity and proximity enable them. I do not think it has accelerated, it is just that the propensity to report it has increased."
Viktor Banke, a (male) feminist and lawyer, lamented in the free daily, Metro, that the attacks "play right into the hands of the Sweden Democrats... If necessary," he wrote, "we should be able to talk about a perpetrator's background. But we cannot afford to let the debate on the vulnerability of women be hijacked by people who take an interest in women's rights only when they smell a perpetrator of another skin color."
Gatestone Institute called a large number of women's shelters and asked them what they thought about the mass sexual abuse of Swedish women. None would admit that the abuse might have anything to do with ethnicity or religion. They did not wish to "generalize," they said; then, as soon as the question of ethnicity or religion was mentioned, they hung up.
In Norway, however, the police are well aware of the differences between Western and Islamic views of women. Eivind Borge, head of the Tactical Intelligence Department of the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos), told the daily newspaper Aftenposten that attacks like those in Sweden and Germany have, to his knowledge, not yet taken place in Norway, but that the police are prepared: "A lot of asylum seekers who have come to Norway during the last few months come from countries where the culture is quite different from ours. Many have grown up in cultures where there is a higher acceptance of various kinds of sexual harassment of women in public places."
Benedicte Bjørnland, Chief of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), recently spoke at the "People and Defense" ("Folk och Försvar") conference in Sweden. "You cannot assume," she said, "that new arrivals will automatically adapt to the values and rules of Norwegian society. Rapidly increasing immigration, especially from Muslim countries, can also bring other challenges in the long run. When a large number of asylum seekers descend on a local community, it can lead to unfortunate consequences."
In Denmark, the state is permitted to compile statistics on the ethnicity of criminals, something Sweden stopped doing years ago. During the last ten years in Denmark, 615 people have been convicted of rape -- of these, 212 were first- or second-generation immigrants. That number equals more than one third (34.5%) of all convicts, three times higher than the immigrants' share of the population.
Gatestone Institute contacted one of Sweden's best known criminologists, Professor Jerzy Sarnecki of Stockholm University. When asked if it were possible to get statistics that show if Muslims were over-represented in Sweden's rape convictions, Professor Sarnecki replied: "We do not maintain statistics like that in Sweden."
Sarnecki was asked then if the failure to have reliable statistics did not fuel rumors and prejudice.
"Yes," he replied, "or it confirms them. I do not mind such knowledge coming to light. You cannot do something about a problem if you do not have the facts. It is of course possible to do studies by going in and reviewing the criminals, and asking them about their religion, but that has not been done in Sweden as far as I know."
Professor Sarnecki confirmed that immigrants in Sweden convicted for virtually all types of crimes -- sex crimes most of all -- are represented in a proportion greater than their percentage of the population, as shown in 25 studies conducted between 1974 and 2005. The latest report was called "Crime among persons born in Sweden and abroad" ("Brottslighet bland personer födda i Sverige och i utlandet"). Sarnecki says that because the statistics are unequivocal, he believes further studies would be pointless.
Swedish men are outraged by the current debate. On social media, many say that they have been unfairly singled out -- and most definitely do not want to be associated with men who commit gang rape.
From a sampling of social media posts and comments:
Conrad: "It makes me furious that feminists claim that I would behave like these barbarians, simply because we belong to the same gender."
Fredrik: "I am not easily offended, but I am pissed off, sad and insulted that I am being lumped together with other men as a potential gang rapist. I have almost had a falling out with some of my female friends, after they have urged men on Facebook to 'talk to each other' to prevent rapes in the future. WTF? Do women believe that normal men talk to their friends about this? If I knew someone who had committed a rape, that bastard would immediately be reported to the police and then be left without a social network."
Jan: "I do not want to be compared to these uncivilized ogres. Very offensive that feminist writers point the finger at an entire group for something very few have done. It is called collective punishment..."
Willy: "If one is to believe the arguments of feminist debaters about the rape attacks, there is only one solution: Exterminate all men."
Lorentz: "The comparison with Swedish men is base and grotesque."
Johan: "Swedish feminists live in one of the most gender-equal countries in the world. That balance is now tipping over, and Swedish women are no longer safe in the streets. So what are the feminists fighting for? The view of women? No, they are trying to kick the timid, equal Swedish men. Talk about denial and cowardice."
Tommy: "This is obviously a problem we have had in the past, that good upbringing and gender equality have freed us from. But increased immigration, mostly by Muslim men, puts us back not to square one, but to square -500."
Mathias: "I have been brought up to respect women. I would never ever lay hand on a woman or rape her. It is ingrained in my soul. It is our task as men to protect our women against the threat that they face."
What Swedish politicians intend to do about the "Rapefugees" that are now in the country is anyone's guess. Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's only comment so far was:
"First, I want to say that I am very angry that young women cannot go to a music festival without being violated, sexually harassed and attacked. This is a very big problem to those affected, but also a democratic problem for our entire country and we should therefore not budge an inch. We should not close our eyes and look away. We should address such a serious problem."
The Swedish people are still waiting to see where the Prime Minister will look.
Ingrid Carlqvist is a journalist and author based in Sweden, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute.