Monday, August 20, 2018

Sweden Is Burning: Migrant Gangs Unleash Coordinated Fire-Bomb Rampage Across Multiple Cities

Many Swedes were horrified in early 2017 when U.S. President Donald Trump linked immigration to rising crime in Sweden, but an increasing number now agree with him.

Amid soaring crime rates, gang violence, complaints about education, and pregnant mothers even being turned away from maternity wards due to a lack of capacity, resentment in Sweden has built over the influx of more than 600,000 immigrants over the past five years.

And tonight is one of the worst night for violence in recent history as police report multiple gangs of masked youths rampaging across three major Swedish cities, setting cars on fire in what seems like a coordinated action.

As The Daily Mail reports, police said they were dealing with multiple fires as dramatic footage showed youths targeting vehicles in a shopping centre and hospital car park at Frölunda Torg, south-west of Gothenburg. 

There were also reports of young people setting cars on fire in Hjällbo in the north of Gothenburg and further reports of fires in Trollhättan, although police were last night unsure whether the various blazes were related.

Cars were also reported on fire in Malmo, at the southern tip of the country, and in Helsingborg, further south than Gothenburg.

Police report that the situation is under control and they remain on the premises to keep order.

Frölunda: A group of about 6-8 masked youth fires and throws stones. 31 cars have burned and in addition to these 35 cars are injured. Nobody is arrested.

Nordost: A group of about 8-10 young people throws stones and fires. 15 cars have burned. Nobody is arrested.

Trollhättan: A larger group of about 30-40 young people throws stones and fires. Six cars have burned and another few cars must be damaged. Here roads have been blocked by youngsters and they have even thrown stones against the police and their vehicles. At the moment, identification of young people is ongoing.

When most fires started within a short period of time, it can not be excluded that there is a connection between the fires, the case will be investigated. Police patrols will remain in the affected areas as long as it is considered necessary.

It is no surprise then, as we noted previously,  judging by the latest polls, the rise of extreme populist groups in Sweden is accelerating fast.

As Reuters reports, dozens of people have been killed in the past two years in attacks in the capital Stockholm and other big cities by gangs that are mostly from run-down suburbs dominated by immigrants.

With public calls growing for tougher policies on crime and immigration, support has risen for the ironically named, Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots that wants to freeze immigration and to hold a referendum on Sweden’s membership of the European Union.

Their worried mainstream rivals have started moving to the right on crime and immigration to try to counter the Sweden Democrats’ threat in the Sept. 9 election. But so far, they are playing into the hands of the far-right.

“Right now they (mainstream parties) are competing over who can set out the most restrictive policies,” said Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin, whose Green Party is part of a minority government led by the Social Democratic Party.

“It clearly benefits the Sweden Democrats.”

Opinion polls put the Sweden Democrats on about 20 percent support, up from the 13 percent of votes they secured in the 2014 election and the 5.7 percent which saw them enter parliament for the first time in 2010.

The Sweden Democrats’ rise on the back of anti-immigration sentiment mirrors gains for right-wing, populist and anti-establishment parties in other European countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria.

The Sweden Democrats still trail the Social Democratic Party but has overtaken the main opposition Moderates in many polls. All mainstream parties have ruled out working with them.

But they could emerge from the election as kingmakers, and a strong election showing could force the next government to take their views into consideration when shaping policy.

Their policies include a total freeze on asylum seekers and accepting refugees only from Sweden’s neighbors in the future. They also want tougher penalties for crime and more powers for police, and say tax cuts and higher spending on welfare could be funded by cutting the immigration budget.

Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Sweden Democratic party, has described the situation as “pretty fantastic”. “We are dominating the debate even though no one will talk to us,” he told party members.

The Sweden Democrats have succeeded in linking the two in the minds of many voters, even though official statistics show no correlation between overall levels of crime and immigration. However, while the government denies it has lost control Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has not ruled out sending the military into problem areas.

“Sweden is going down a more right-wing path,” said Nick Aylott, a political scientist at Sodertorn University said. “It is almost impossible to avoid according some sort of influence to a party with around 20 percent of the vote.”

Trump was right after all.


Even the German Left are beginning to see the light

The leader of Germany’s Left Party Sahra Wagenknecht has launched a new political movement called ‘Stand Up,’ which aims to be a voice for workers and to unite a divided left across Europe.
While left-wing and not against immigration on principle, the new ‘Aufstehen’ movement presents a case for limiting the number of migrants coming to Germany looking for work, arguing that “unlimited access” to the German labor market is unsustainable and cannot continue.

"There have to be open borders for the persecuted, but we certainly can't say that anyone who wants to may come to Germany, claim social benefits and look for work — it's detached from reality,” Wagenknecht said.

Sevim Dagdelen, a German MP and supporter of Stand Up, told RT that the movement had close relationships with other left-wing figures like Bernie Sanders in the US, as well as supporters of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Jean-Luc Mélenchon in France.

Dagdelen says the left is “split and weak” across the whole of Europe and that there has been an obvious trend towards the right.

“We would like to combine forces to make a progressive breakthrough,” she said. “The left should return to its core ideals and goals. Social questions should be the keystone.”

With polls showing people want “better pay, better pension, a non-confrontational foreign policy regarding Russia,” Stand Up wants to offer them a “political direction.”

Its goal, according to Dagdelen, is to present to people who were disillusioned with the current state of politics in Germany an alternative to the far-right Alternative For Germany (AFD). She says this is something the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party and the Left party had failed to do so far.

“The AFD is getting strong and there is a chance for them to become the people’s party, which is absurd,” she said, but admitted that it was “understandable” that some people were turning toward right wing parties when they saw no other option.

"Integration policy has pretty much rendered the minimum wage defunct. What was once a one euro job now only brings 80 cents,” she said. “People need to be able to earn a wage that lets them live in dignity. If this is not happening, it’s understandable that people become angry and lean towards right-wing parties.”

A new poll found as many as 34 percent of German voters would choose the new movement if elections were held, according to


An Iranian Dream: "Why Can't I Dance?"

A Muslim mother in the sharia-ruled country of Iran, was talking about her 10-year-old daughter: "She asked me, 'Why can't I dance? We dance because we are happy. How can being happy be wrong? Why is dancing a crime?'" She spoke about the confusion in her daughter's eyes. "It is a question I don't know how to answer."

Her daughter's life had changed, she said, when she heard that a 19-year-old woman named Maedeh Hojabri had become the target of Iran's Islamist "morality" police. Her crime? Posting video clips of herself dancing on popular worldwide social media sites, like Instagram. The consequences for an act like that are severe. As has happened to other young women who posted video clips of themselves dancing, Hojabri was arrested, jailed without due process and without an opportunity to defend herself, and publicly shamed with a televised confession of her "crime."

Hojabri's dancing videos on Instagram made her a popular figure on Instagram in Iran, and gained her hundreds of thousands of followers on the social media platform. Imagine, if she were living in the West, how she would be treated. She would likely have been considered talented, have had opportunities thrown at her, been invited on popular shows and be sponsored for radio and television programs.

But in a sharia-governed state such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, authorities consider people like Hojabri disgraced criminals. The irony is that it is many of the extremist leaders of her country -- a state sponsor of terrorism -- who should be regarded as criminals. These are the men who view Hojabri and others like her -- who simply wish to spread joy -- as an intolerable danger to their country.

Cheerfulness and dancing can make a difference in the grim lives of a people faced with economic struggles, political unrest, censorship and general hardship. In Iran, however, these simple acts of sunlight are repaid with intimidation, sharia courts and imprisonment. The results are too often forced confessions, which the Islamist Republic of Iran airs both to validate their concerns and to threaten anyone who might consider dancing themselves after watching these videos.

This brings us back to the question of the 10-year-old girl: "Why can't I dance? Why is dancing a crime?"

As difficult as it may be to imagine how dancing could lead to imprisonment, it is far more difficult for a child just becoming aware of the world around her, who now fears that she could be swept up by the Islamist morality police, just for expressing joy.

What is it about dancing that so concerns and frightens many Islamic religious leaders? Why is there such an emphasis by Islamist groups on brainwashing girls into believing that dancing is an unforgivable sin?

It may be partly an attempt to suppress the sexual desire that dancing or watching dancing can arouse, and partly about the wish to control, confine and subjugate women on the pretext of keeping them "pure" and ostensibly free of sexual desire.

Controlling a woman's body has always been a core pillar of sharia law in Iran. Also, as the imposition of sharia law in Iran has shown, Islamist laws prioritize the monitoring and controlling of every aspect of every citizen's day-to-day and private life. This level of supervision and punishment seems intended to create an atmosphere of fear throughout society: people are always aware that they are being watched.

In addition, for radical and extremist Muslims, anything that can labeled as "fun" is forbidden. Not just for religious reasons, but more importantly for political reasons. For fundamentalist Islamic leaders, people who engage in fun activities, such as dancing and hosting parties, become less fearful. As a result, less fearful people are more likely to cross the boundaries set by the sharia state and rebel against the state. This is viewed as a threat to the power that Islamist leaders hold over their people.

Furthermore, from the perspectives of extremist Muslims, if a woman is allowed to do what she desires, she may start speaking up for her rights, risk "impurity," gain financial independence, and be emboldened to reject the status of a subservient and second-class citizen given to her by the religious authorities at her birth.

But as might be expected, such an imposition of sharia law also creates resistance, especially among women and girls seeking, as so many of us do, freedom. That is why, after girls like Maedeh Hojabri are arrested, courageous women begin joining the same cause by posting their own dancing videos, imitating Hojabri's dances.

The teachings of sharia law should be watched carefully in mosques, schools, and throughout society. To people in the West, it may seem impossible for dancing to become a crime. But as sharia laws get imposed, before you know it, any innocent act of "fun" can suddenly become a crime.

For now, the 10-year-old girl can only hope for a time when she is free to dance, while her mother must continue to search for answers. In most of the world, girls may leap, spin and shout with joy -- but still for many girls, the slightest twirl is regarded as a crime. Who will the morality police come for next?


Justin Trudeau feels heat over open-door policy for asylum-seekers

It was a single tweet, but it is one that has come to haunt Justin Trudeau. On January 28 last year, only days after Donald Trump was sworn in as US President, the Canadian Prime Minister took a deliberate shot at Trump’s hardline immigration policies by trumpeting how Canada had an open door for refugees.

“To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #welcometocanada,” he tweeted.

Eighteen months on, Trudeau’s tweet has rebounded on him. Canada is facing a reckoning about what sort of country it wants to be as a surge in the number of asylum-seekers tests its tolerance and its self-proclaimed pride as a traditional haven for refugees.

“There is a problem at the border, the border must be enforced,” says Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister responsible for immigration, who says the Trudeau government’s lax policies account for an unsustainable influx of asylum-seekers.

Last year Canada received a record 50,420 applications for asylum, more than double the 23,930 it received in 2016 and the highest level since the country’s Immigration and Refugee Board was created in 1989. Of these, almost 30,000 walked illegally across the border from the US into the province of Quebec — a situation Trudeau has been criticised for failing to deal with. In the first six months of this year, a further 10,261 crossed from New York state into Quebec.

Now Trudeau, who initially was feted for his generosity to asylum-seekers, is facing a political and public backlash for failing to control Canada’s borders. “Justin Trudeau had a message of asking Canadians to have trust in our immigration system,” leader of the opposition Conservative Party Andrew Scheer says. “The problem is Canadians don’t have trust in the Liberals to manage it.”

To the horror of some Canadians, the country now is experiencing its own version of the divisive refugee debates that have convulsed Germany, Italy and other European nations in recent years.

“What we are seeing is part of a global trend in liberal democracies where right-wing populist politicians are able to mobilise anxieties around uncontrolled borders for electoral gain, and that's what we are seeing now in Canada,” says Craig Damian Smith, director of the Global Migration Lab at the University of Toronto. “I don’t think this would have happened in Canada without the global precedents that we are seeing.”

But Richard Silvester, a 68-year-old nickel miner from Sudbury in rural Ontario, says people in his town are not being manipulated by politicians, they simply are worried by the large numbers of asylum-seekers entering Canada. “Trump is sort of pushing people over the border into Canada and now we are saddled with these immigrants,” Silvester, who has been a miner for 50 years, tells Inquirer as he sits outside Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica.

“Before it was OK because there were just a few coming in and Canadians are known for their generosity, but now it’s like, ‘Oh Jesus’.” Silvester’s wife, Teresa, 64, a retired hairdresser, adds: “What some people think is that asylum-seekers are taking the jobs when there are people suffering in our own cities without jobs.”

A survey this month by the Angus Reid Institute found that two-thirds of Canadians (67 per cent) believe the issue of asylum-seekers crossing the border into Canada has become a crisis.

The perception is shared not only by conservative voters but also by more than half of those who voted for the Liberal and New Democratic parties in 2015.

The survey also found that 58 per cent of voters think Canada is being “too generous” to asylum-seekers crossing the border illegally — more than eight times as many as those who say Canada is not being “generous enough”.

The Trudeau government describes the issue is a “challenge but not a crisis” and blames Canada’s conservatives for inflaming it.

“I think one of the things that we’ve seen, in terms of what conservatives have been saying, is that they are playing, not just here in Canada but around the world, a very dangerous game around the politics of fear, the politics of division, of pitting Canadians against each other and raising the kinds of anxieties that, quite frankly, don’t help solve problems but actually hinder them,” Trudeau said last month.

But faced with a potential voter backlash ahead of next year’s election, the Trudeau government has toughened its rhetoric, warning that Canada is “a country of laws” and that those who arrive illegally will not be granted asylum automatically.

Canada’s asylum-seeker problem was triggered early last year by a combination of Trump’s election, Trudeau’s welcome tweet and a loophole in the law that allows asylum-seekers to walk into Canada from the US.

Under the 2002 Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement, asylum-seekers must make a claim in the first safe country they reach, therefore those who turn up at an official border station on the US-Canadian border are turned away. But a loophole means asylum claims can be made by individuals who enter Canada through unofficial entry points. So tens of thousands of asylum-seekers have travelled a well-worn path to the town of Champlain, New York, on the US border with Quebec.

From there they catch a taxi to the border and walk freely along a 100m dirt track into Canada and into the arms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who detain them.

Most are released within 72 hours into a shelter or to family and friends while they wait for their hearing. In the interim they are entitled to healthcare and other public benefits, and even can apply for a Canadian work permit.

Last year Canada granted asylum to about 60 per cent of all asylum-seekers who crossed the border. By contrast, those applying for asylum in the US must wait at least six months before they can work.

As part of its crackdown on legal and illegal immigration, the Trump administration has removed immigration protections for more than 300,000 people in the US, many from countries in the Caribbean and in Central America. These tougher rules in the US compared with those in ­Canada have led to Haitians as well as Nigerians, Salvadorans, Hondurans and many others crossing the border in unprecedented ­numbers.

Canada has never experienced such a huge influx of asylum-seekers and is poorly equipped to deal with it.

At one stage last year, Montreal’s Olympic stadium was used to handle the influx, and last week in Toronto hundreds of refugee claimants living in college dormitories were moved to federally funded hotel rooms.

“We have a problem and we need help,” Toronto mayor John Tory says.

There is now a backlog of more than 40,000 asylum-seeker cases waiting to be heard.

In June the country’s most populated province, Ontario, elected a populist new leader, Doug Ford, who wants the Trudeau government to pay $C72 million ($75m) to the province to compensate for the cost of paying for the “mess” of ­“illegal border crossers”.

“The federal government encouraged illegal border-crossers to come into our country and the federal government continues to ush­er people across the US-Quebec border into Ontario,” Ford’s press secretary, Simon Jefferies, says. “This has resulted in a housing crisis and threats to the ser­vices that Ontario families depend on.”

The Ontario government also has accused asylum-seekers of being “queue jumpers”, a claim that Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, himself a former Somali refugee, says is “irresponsible, it’s divisive, it’s fearmongering and it’s not Canadian, and it’s very dangerous”.

The asylum-seeker debate in Canada has fed into other issues such as security.

At the main mosque in Quebec City, the windows are still marked with bullet holes where 28-year-old student Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire in January last year after reading Trudeau’s tweet welcoming refugees into Canada. He fired 48 rounds at the 53 men who were praying in the mosque, killing six of them, and shocking a nation that had prided itself on harmonious multi­culturalism.

In Quebec there is generally less tolerance of asylum-seekers because many see multiculturalism as diluting Quebec’s francophone culture.

Last year Quebec became Canada’s only province to require people, including those wearing niqabs and burkas, to show their faces before gaining access to public services.

The leader of the nationalist Parti Quebecois, Jean-Francois Lisee, even suggested a Trump-like solution of building a fence along the southern US border of the province to stem the flow of asylum-seekers.

Jeffrey Reitz, professor of ethnic and immigration studies at the University of Toronto, says that although the asylum-seeker issue is a sensitive one in Canada, he doesn’t see a long-term change in the nation’s approach to the issue.

“Australians are much more critical of refugees and the policies in your country have been very controversial — we haven’t seen anything like that yet in Canada,” he says although he concedes that there is still potential for the issue to “blow up”.

“After (the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks) people said, ‘Oh that is the end of multiculturalism in Canada’ — but it didn’t happen. So I am sceptical that there will be a long-term backlash against refugees in Canada as result of this.”

Craig Smith of the Global Migration Lab also draws a distinction between attitudes in Australia and Canada.

He believes most Canadians still see a generous approach to asylum-seekers as being “one of the most important aspects of our international reputation”. “That is quite different to Australia’s public opinion,” he says

“In Australia you have pretty strong support across the political spectrum saying it’s not Australian responsibility and we should be harder on asylum-seekers.”

But while the Trudeau government hasn’t openly retreated from its embrace of asylum-seekers, it has watched the tide of public opinion turn against it and is taking steps to ensure it modifies its tone on the issue.

It has sent Hussen to Nigeria to ask that nation’s government to help by discouraging its citizens from crossing into Canada.

It also has urged the Trump administration to deny visas to people who authorities suspect may then travel to Canada.

The new tone was apparent in an opinion piece written last month by Hussen. He blamed the influx not on Trudeau’s tweet but on global trends.

“Governments around the world are facing significant challenges in dealing with a dramatic global increase in refugees and Canada is not immune to this challenge,” he wrote.

Hussen then issued a stern warning to would-be asylum seekers: “Let me be clear: those who do not qualify for Canada’s protection are not allowed to stay. For more than a year now members of our government, from the Prime Minister on down, have been bluntly reminding people that the asylum system is not a free ticket to Canada.”

Today it seems no one in the Canadian government, from Hussen to Trudeau, is likely to repeat the words Trudeau so proudly tweeted only 18 months ago: “Can­adians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength. #welcometocanada.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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