Cars and schools continue to be torched by Muslim immigrants for the fifth straight night. At least nine more cars (in addition to the hundreds since Sunday) were torched and two schools and a police station were set ablaze as riots swept through Stockholm’s Muslim immigrant-dominated suburbs.
HindustanTimes The riots, which have shattered Sweden’s image abroad as a peaceful and egalitarian nation, have sparked a debate about the assimilation of unwillingness of the mostly Muslim immigrants, who make up about 15% of the population, to assimilate.
Some 80% of the 12,000 residents in Husby are Muslim immigrants. Due to its liberal immigration policy and generous welfare benefits, Sweden has in recent decades become one of Europe’s top destinations for immigrants, both in absolute numbers and relative to its size.
In the past decade it has welcomed hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and the Balkans, among others. But this is not the first time the Scandinavian country has seen riots among immigrants. In 2010, up to 100 youths threw bricks, set fires and attacked the local police station in the immigrant-dominated suburb of Rinkeby for two nights.
And in 2008, hundreds of youths rioted against police in the southern Swedish town of Malmoe, sparked by the closure of an Islamic cultural centre in the suburb of Rosengaard that housed a mosque.
In Husby, overall unemployment was 8.8% in 2012, compared to 3.3% in Stockholm as a whole, according to official data. And a total of 12% in Husby received social benefits last year, compared to 3.6% in Stockholm as a whole.
The riots have received international media attention, with some comparisons being drawn to similar problems assimilating immigrants in other European countries such as Britain and France.