Jul 1, 2023, 6:12 PM
News ID: 85156815
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Mohsen Pakaein

Sweden, corruption and Islamophobia

Jul 1, 2023, 6:12 PM
News ID: 85156815
Sweden, corruption and Islamophobia

Tehran, IRNA - One of the factors contributing to Islamophobic activities in Sweden, which has led to animosity within the Muslim world, is the dissatisfaction among Muslims with the growing levels of corruption in the country. Issues such as an increase in sexual harassment, child abuse, administrative corruption, bribery, organized crime, support for terrorism, and drug trafficking are among the concerns that have left Muslims dissatisfied with the Swedish government.

The ruling party of Sweden, which came into power in 2022 and calls itself democratic, holds the belief that practicing Islam is incompatible with democracy. The right-wingers, who dominate the Sweden Democrats party, have repeatedly expressed their opposition to Muslims engaging in religious practices, such as prayer and wearing the hijab.

Similar to the neo-Nazis, the ruling party of Sweden considers insulting sanctities of Islam, including the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Holy Quran, as a form of exercising democracy, allowing such actions under the pretext of freedom of speech. This line of thinking regards Islam's stance against corruption as interference in governance and suspects that Muslims intend to take control of the country.

While corruption in Sweden is officially defined by the National Crime Prevention Council (Brå) as "abuse of power," the reported number of legal cases in Sweden in 2016 reached approximately 1,510,000, indicating the extent of corruption in the country.

To gain a deeper understanding of this situation, the following explores the extent of corruption in Sweden:

According to reports from various European media outlets, including the Independent, Sweden and Denmark have the highest rates of sexual harassment within the European Union. In these countries, 80 to 95 percent of individuals report experiencing sexual harassment. These figures represent the highest numbers on the continent, leading the Gatestone Institute to label Sweden as the "rape capital of the West." The reports indicate that Swedish women face a significantly higher risk of sexual crimes compared to men. Although men are not immune to sexual offenses. A significant portion of these crimes occur in public spaces, workplaces, and schools. Fredrik Bundestam, the director of the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, states, "This study is the first of its kind to encompass the entire academic sector and represents the largest survey on sexual harassment in higher education worldwide. In this survey, a total of 38% reported experiencing unwanted sexual activity since the beginning of their studies or employment at universities or colleges."

Child abuse and harassment, clear violations of human rights, are prevalent issues in Sweden. Among the victims, 35% are girls and 65% are boys. Among them, a significant part of the threats are directed at the population of 500,000 Swedish Muslims, who are insulted and intimidated by right-wing and racist movements. 

Regarding human trafficking, as reported by Sputnik, the number of corruption hubs in Norway and Sweden has increased following the arrival of Ukrainian asylum seekers in these countries. At the beginning of this year, Swedish authorities identified several "corruption centers" where women and girls were employed. These individuals had been brought to Sweden illegally by human traffickers or had sought asylum. These trafficking groups justified their actions by claiming sympathy for these individuals and a desire to assist them in escaping their dire circumstances. Numerous reports indicate that since the onset of the war in Ukraine, European networks involved in human trafficking and sexual exploitation have targeted Ukrainian refugee women, trapping them to modern slavery.

Concerning the issue of social security, bicycle theft ranks as one of the most prevalent crimes in Sweden, a country with a population of ten million. Over the past decade, more than 600,000 bicycles have been stolen. Individuals are advised to utilize anti-theft measures for their bicycles and cars. Sweden is also among the top five countries globally in terms of car theft, with a rate of 106 thefts per 100,000 people. With a population of ten million, this means that over 10,000 cars are stolen annually in the country. Regarding theft from homes and other properties, Sweden faces a concerning situation. Available statistics indicate a rate of 1,915 theft cases per 100,000 people.

Ever since anti-corruption institutions in the US and Sweden began looking into a Swedish-American company's alleged attempt to bribe Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son in exchange for market dominance in Turkey, the prevalence of bribery within the Swedish administrative system has been brought to light. Furthermore, reports emerged of an employee at the Swedish Embassy in Jordan accepting money from applicants in return for expediting their interview process. Erik Ollenhag, Sweden's ambassador to Jordan, responded strongly to this matter, vowing to address corruption and disorder. However, during Princess Victoria's wedding ceremony to her sports coach at a church in central Stockholm, it was revealed that a millionaire businessman had funded the couple's honeymoon, providing them with a private jet and a luxurious cruise ship. This incident illustrates a case of bribery involving the royal family. Peter Wolverdorski, the political editor of the newspaper "Dagens Nyheter," said, "All Swedish citizens want officials to prioritize public interests and ensure that personal business interests are not pursued. It is conceivable that companies would seek the support of the royal family to facilitate their business ventures abroad. Hence, there is a risk that, eventually, the royal family may feel obligated to reciprocate such hospitality." However, the most significant corruption case in Sweden's history unfolded when Saab, the manufacturer of Gripen jets, faced accusations of paying bribes to the South African government in order to secure a lucrative contract. The investigation into this matter was subsequently abandoned, a move that drew criticism from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Sweden has been a safe haven for terrorist elements and groups, such as the MKO and the Anzal movement, in recent decades. These support measures include offering them shelter and financial assistance. Some of these individuals based in Sweden had planned terrorist activities against the people of Iran. Among them was "Habib Al-Assiod," also known as "Chaab," the leader of the terrorist group "Harakah al-Nidal," who was subsequently executed. He had resided in Sweden for many years, taking advantage of the government's facilities, and was involved in the martyrdom and injury of 274 innocent Iranian citizens. The primary reason for Sweden's failure to prosecute criminals and terrorists lies in its lack of willingness to adopt international standards within its domestic laws.

According to reports from Swedish media, there has been a troubling increase in gun violence and resulting murders associated with the drug trade and personal vendettas in recent months. The Wall Street Journal highlighted a shooting in early March this year as a brutal example of gang violence, catapulting Sweden to become a hotbed of gun-related murders in Europe. The Swedish National Crime Prevention Council reported that the number of shootings leading to murder in Sweden is nearly 5.2 times higher than the European average. In 2021 and 2022, 45 and 62 people, respectively, lost their lives due to gun violence.

As followers of Islamic civilization, Muslims have always shown respect towards the sacred beliefs and texts of other nations, including the Bible, the Torah, the Avesta, and their prophets and messengers. Consequently, the Islamic world expects countries that claim to uphold civilization and human rights to also show respect and refrain from insulting the sanctities of Muslims. Muslims worldwide perceive the widespread corruption in Sweden as the primary cause for the disrespect towards their beliefs. Naturally, if this situation persists, it will further fuel animosity within the Islamic world towards the Swedish government.


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