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Racist attacks on immigrants on the rise in Sweden

brussels bureau

Racist attacks on immigrants on the rise in Sweden


Rinkeby is an immigrant neighbourhood in the north of Stockholm and was once seen as a great example of how Europe can receive and integrate immigrants.

However in 2010 a far right party got into the Swedish parliament for the first time and the number of racist attacks shot up.

Foreigners living in this Stockholm suburb told euronews about some of the problems they are facing.

One local man said: “One day I was out with a friend. And then some people​ come and they said ‘What are you doing here?’ Something like that. ‘It’s not your country. What are you doing here?’ And my friend only went to buy a hamburger to eat. So he started to say something back…. and then one girl she attacked him. And it was like – wow – let me attack back or something. So there came maybe seven people to attack him so they beat him.”

Another said: “They hate Muslims. Not all the foreigners, they hate Muslims. If all the foreigners that are here stop working for two or three days they have to realise what’s going to happen to their country.”

Edda Manga is a university professor, studying the History of Ideas and said what is happening in Sweden is similar to what is happening in other European countries. He believes that Europe’s economic woes mean far-right parties are able to find an easy scapegoat.

“We have problems that we didn’t have before,” Manga explained, “We have many people out of the [social] security system, we have people that are homeless. And some people – I think the ultra-nationalists and populists – they have an analysis of this, that it is because of immigration. And this is a very simple idea that many people take as an explanation and of course because it offers a very easy solution. You get rid of the immigrants and everything will go back as it was before.” ​

Ibrahim is a Swedish-born actor with Gambian roots and says he is often typecast when he goes for auditions.

“I sound Swedish but I don’t look Swedish. That’s the problem. I must work 10 times harder than others because I’m black. In acting I always have to play these dangerous types like drug dealers and a robber. I want to play a police officer,” he said.

Despite the problems, Sweden continues to accept more asylum seekers and it is the top destination in Europe for Syrian refugees.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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