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The Swedish Riots of 2020: A brief overview

The Swedish city of Malmo witnessed riots on 29th August, 2020. Protests begun soon after a copy of Quran was burnt by members of the far-right Danish party Stram Kurs.

Indian Express reported that over 300 people took part in these protests. The news outlet also informed that few of the protesters might have thrown objects at the officers and burnt tyres.

Police arrested at least 10 people with connection to this rally that might cause harm to the society. NDTV explains that the head of this “far-right Danish anti-immigration party was due to travel to Malmo to speak at Friday’s event, which was being held on the same day as weekly prayers for the Muslim sabbath.

But authorities pre-emptied Paludan’s arrival by announcing he had been banned from entering Sweden for two years.

He was later arrested near Malmo.” However, irrespective of that, authorities claimed that his supporters went along with the rally anyway.

During this time, six people were arrested for provoking racial hatred. Later, Paludan put up a scornful message on Facebook as to how he is barred from entering Sweden but aliens of questionable character is authorized to stay.

A Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, reported that the leader of this far right party, Rasmus Paludan, was denied permission to hold a meeting that aimed at raising awareness regarding fast paced Islamization of Nordic countries.

Even then a rumour was doing rounds that a Quran might be burnt in this particular meeting. The head of this party was invited by a Swedish Artist, Dan Park, who has already been convicted for inciting violence by targeting ethnic groups.

A report stated that Sweden has acted as a safe haven for refugees right after Canada and Australia. Sweden has grant refuge to approximately 70,000 Syrian refugees after the beginning of the Syrian war.

The report that was published in Brookings showed that in 2015 “Sweden received a record 162,000 applications for asylum primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and this influx of Muslim asylum seekers from war-torn countries has had a significant impact on Swedish politics.

Speculation has taken roots among Swedish people that due to the influx of Muslim immigrants, crime rose predominantly since the migrant crisis. This view was mainly promoted by a right-wing party, Sweden Democrats, that has its roots in Neo-Nazism.

Moreover, a report in The New York Times regarding how this influx might become an issue has being something that the Swedish has been wary of.

This report stated that Sweden depends on the taxes paid by its citizens for smooth functioning, but as a large number of migrants might be unskilled, they will depend on the welfare schemes for years.

Also, the unemployment rate that stood at nearly 3% in 2018 showed that 15% of the unemployed people are foreign-born Swedish population.

Such statistics have been used time and again by parties like Sweden Democrats to push forward their agenda and blame the refugees.

However, it must be mentioned that Sweden alone is not home to right wing populist parties that bring radical national identity ideas and immigration issues to the forefront.

Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Germany and Vox in Spain can be cited as examples.

It is also imperative to mention that these riots are not happening for the first time in Sweden, but have happened previously when President Donald Trump made a visit to this country and talked about immigration issues in 2017.

In 2010, Sweden saw another set of riots after a group of youth was denied entry to a school dance.

                                                                                                                                   By – Sagarika Mukhopadhyay

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