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Swedish report Swedish report
by Euro Reporter
2011-08-11 07:24:14
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Increased religious violence in Sweden

From 2008 to 2009; Sweden went from being one of the calmest countries in this respect to a position in the middle. In 2008 the index number was 1.2 and in 2009 it was 2.3. Sweden’s Nordic neighbours had much lower index numbers writes the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Paw explains the increase with more hate crimes against Muslims, increased anti-Semitism among some groups in for example Malmö and increased tensions between ”the population in general and the Muslim population”.

Iraq is number one on the list of religious violence; their index number is 9.0.
Paw’s own concern about the accuracy of their investigation is that open democracies, for example Sweden, might report incidents that dictatorships censor. That has to be taken into consideration when making comparisons. It can also be difficult to distinguish ‘religious conflicts’ from conflicts about other things; when religion is used as an excuse.


Swedish queen's report denies father had Nazi links

Sweden's royal family has rejected allegations of links between the German-born queen's late father and the Nazi regime in Germany. Queen Silvia has published a report she commissioned in response to claims her father took over a factory from a Jewish businessman. The report concluded that Walter Sommerlath had in fact helped the Jewish man escape from Germany. But a Holocaust survivors' group said the findings were a "whitewash".

Last year, Swedish commercial broadcaster TV4 reported that Mr Sommerlath had taken advantage of the Nazi's "Aryanisation" programme to take over a factory belonging to Jewish businessman Efim Wechsler in 1939. But the new, 34-page report, compiled by Swedish World War II expert Erik Norberg, indicated that Mr Sommerlath had allowed Mr Wechsler to escape from Germany by trading the factory for a coffee plantation in Brazil. The report confirmed that Mr Sommerlath - who died in 1990 - had gone to Brazil in 1920, aged 20, where he met and married the queen's Brazilian mother Alice, whose family owned the large plantation.

The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants reacted to the report by dismissing it as "self-serving" and lacking in credibility. "The report was not an independent inquiry - it was commissioned by the queen with the participation of her cousin, a Brazilian lawyer," the organisation said in a statement quoted by the Associated Press news agency. "Such a probe can only raise suspicions of a whitewash." Queen Silvia has faced criticism in Swedish media for a number of years for not doing more to address the rumours of her father's role in Germany during World War II.


Sweden draws up plan to fight extremists

Sweden has drawn up a plan to fight extremism in response to attacks in neighbouring Norway that killed 77 people last month, government ministers wrote in an opinion piece published Friday. The national plan was needed to safeguard Sweden against similar attacks, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and two ministers wrote, describing the Norway killings as a “catastrophe of unimaginable dimensions”. They identified the fringes of three extremist groups as the most dangerous: the white-power far-right, the far-left and Islamists.

“We need to have a broad concept of violent extremism and not limit our line of vision,” Reinfeldt, Justice Minister Beatrice Ask and Democracy Minister Birgitta Ohlsson wrote in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper. “There are many similarities in the processes that lead individuals to use violence to reach political goals, regardless of the political or religious content of their extreme ideas,” they wrote. The plan calls for close cooperation and expanded intelligence and information sharing between all strata of society, including police, national and local authorities, schools, social services and civil society. The rightwing extremist who confessed to the twin July 22 attacks in Norway had much in common with the Islamic extremist behind the first ever suicide bombing in Sweden in December last year, the ministers said.

The Sweden attacker, 29-year-old Taimour Abdulwahab, was killed when apparently detonating his bomb by mistake in a deserted Stockholm side street. Two people were injured when his car exploded in an earlier blast. Citing a report that around 20 percent of Swedish high school students showed intolerance towards minorities, the ministers emphasised the importance of reaching people who “risk making up the growth basis for future extremism.”

“It is important that vulnerable individuals who could be drawn to an anti-democratic message stand at the centre of our preventive work so they can be detected in time,” they wrote. “Battling against violence-prone extremism is not just a task for the state. All of Sweden is needed to protect our democracy.” They presented their plan two weeks after 32-year-old rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik bombed government offices in Oslo, killing eight people, and then shot dead 69 more on the nearby island of Utoeya where the ruling Labour Party's youth organisation was hosting a summer camp.

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Emanuel Paparella2011-08-11 13:36:01
People used to think of the Scandinavian countries as island of peace and prosperity buttressed by social equality and democratic institution. Obviously, even in this garden there was a snake that nobody saw coming.

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