Monday, November 14, 2005

Stockholm Suburb: "It's too Dangerous for Children here, Many are Wearing Bulletproof Vests"

Those reading my blog are probably familiar with the situation in Malmö. Malmö is unique in the sense that it is the only major Scandinavian city where the creeping anarchy has spread to many, if not most part of the city. In cities such as Oslo or Copenhagen, it is more confined to certain areas. Yet. Here is one such area, the Stockholm suburb of Tensta. The original text is in Swedish, translation made by the excellent Swedish site Watch:

"Pekgul leaves suburb because of violence"

Nalin Pekgul is one of the most well-known Social Democrats in Sweden. She was a member of parliament between 1994 - 2002 and is currently the chairman for The National Federation of Social Democratic Women. And the Social Democrats, of course, has been the governing party in Sweden the last 75 years, except for two periods. Tensta is a suburb in northern Stockholm which is notorious for its large concrete apartment buildings and has a high concentration of immigrants. This is translated excerpts from an article in Swedish:

"Nalin Pekgul, well-known social democratic advocate of suburbs with a high concentration of immigrants, is leaving her own suburb Tensta because she thinks it has become to insecure. Tensta has become too dangerous for the children, she says. ... She says to P1 Studio Ett that the reasons why she wants to move is the increasing violence and the religious fundamentalism in Tensta. The triggering factor was an incident in connection with the Tensta Market earlier this autumn, when a man was hurt by gunshots close to the family's apartment. "I was on my way home with my son. There was blood everywhere. It's not funny for an eight-year old to have to see something like that," says Nalin Pekgul. According to rumours, the man survived because he wore a bulletproof vest. A circumstance which also worried Nalin Pekgul. "I understood then that many are wearing bulletproof vests here. What has happened here, I wondered. Is this Tensta? I must have missed what has happened here the last years."

Nalin Pekgul says that she avoids to arrive home late in the evening nowadays. "Someone always has to meet me at the subway station if I arrive home late," she says. ... Nalin Pekgul, who is a Muslim herself, has also noted that fundamentalistic variants of Islam are growing stronger in Tensta. Her children come home and wonder why their mother don't wear a hijab or why their family don't go to the mosque. They also have heard that Muslims are better than Christians. "I don't like it when my son comes home and says that 'Mom, we Muslims don't lie, but Christians do, because they don't have God.' He hasn't got that from us. We had not reckoned on this religious fundamentalism," she says. Nalin Pekgul and her family are now looking for an apartment in a more mixed area, with both immigrants and ethnic Swedes."

Is Swedish Democracy Collapsing?

The number of ghettos, a phenomenon that until recently was unheard of in wealthy and egalitarian Scandinavian nations, has been increasing explosively. 14 years ago, there were only 3 such areas in all of Sweden. Today, there are 136. Stockholm politician Annika Billström warns against the dangers of creating ghettos in Sweden. Rock throwing and attacks against buses and trains are increasing problems in some suburbs. In Malmö the bus lines in the area of Rosengård have been cancelled. In Stockholm, the authorities went even further and stopped both the bus traffic in the Tensta suburb and the train to Nynäshamn.

Three arrested for train sabotage

After weeks of sabotage SL, Stockholm's transport company, cancelled all evening commuter trains between Västerhaninge and Nynäshamn on Saturday, saying that they could not guarantee passenger safety. By Wednesday three boys had been arrested and the service began again - but not before the notorious train route had dominated front pages both in Stockholm and nationwide. In recent weeks local youths have thrown stones at the trains and threatened and abused staff and other passengers on the service. The final straw came late on Friday night when vandals threw bicycles and rubbish onto the track.

The sabotage usually begins soon after school has finished. Last week a drain cover was thrown onto the track at about five o'clock," he said. "There are threats, violence and drunkenness onboard. On a number of occasions conductors have been strangled by passengers who don't want to pay." The police and half of Nynäshamn know who is carrying out the sabotage against the trains. Why don't the police pick them up? Shall we let the terrorists take over society?"

Sweden: Fire attack on train

A railway carriage was filled with smoke in the Hjällbo part of Gothenburg overnight, after a burning object was thrown in. The train driver had seen two people near the tracks, who had had their faces covered with hoods, shortly before the object was thrown into the train.


At November 14, 2005 4:29 PM, Blogger oskar said...

This was headline news in the newspapers last week and is still a topic for discussion. But I wouldn't see it as "democracy collapsing" but rather as democracy finally beginning to catch up with reality. Unfortunately her party leader, Sweden's PM, Goran Persson, is not yet ready to accept this reality. He's still talking about how everything is fine, that the state needs to give extra support to the big Mosque in Malmö (which was attacked by extremists), and how Sarkozy in France is all wrong in taking a hard response to the riots.

Finally, Tensta is not a dangerous place by Scandinavian standards, not by North or Latin American standards. Just to get the proportions right. Also, the guy wearing a bullet proof vest was a criminal, which was why he was wearing it. So the shooting wasn't an example of random street violence.

At November 15, 2005 6:01 AM, Blogger ThBadMonkey said...

France II, comming in what, 3-4 years? I guess all Sweden needs is a spark...


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