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Hamza the Drug Dealer is Here to Stay, and Will Cost Germany a Small Fortune

The current state of play: Germany has received 521,000 migrants (g) so far this year. In the first three weeks of September alone, Germany received 107,464 migrants. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 35,821 per week. There are 13 weeks left in this year. If the rate of arrivals remains constant, Germany will get another 465,677 migrants by the end of the year. So yes, it looks like one million is the current best estimate of how many migrants will arrive in 2015 alone. How many will come in 2016? Who knows?

But let's look at an individual case. Yesterday we met Hamza, the 27-year-old Algerian convicted drug dealer and attempted murderer who is likely now somewhere in Germany.

What will happen to him? Well, once in Germany, he will file a claim for asylum. That will take about 6 months to be decided, at the current rate. Assuming Germany will actually be able to detect that he was lying about his background, and that he can't come up with some other reason for claiming asylum, it will be denied. But don't give up too easily, Hamza. You can always claim you were in prison for political activism, not trying to murder a rival dealer. You will have tons of convincing evidence that you were actually in prison, and there has been political activism in Algeria. If you're careful, you might just spin that into a winning asylum claim.

But assume Hamza's claim is denied. He certainly isn't going to meekly accept that decision and go back to Algeria. After all, there are probably a bunch of rival dealers secret police waiting to kill him there. So he will file an appeal. While the appeal is being decided, he will continue receiving food, shelter and a daily stipend from the German government.

The German government tries to move people out of the First Reception Centers as soon as their asylum claim is denied. They go to privately-run shelters or apartments. The government pays their rent. The rent stipend differs from state to state, but currently in Berlin, for example, it's €35 Euro per night.

A math and ethics exercise: You are a landlord currently receiving €850 per month in rent for a 2-bedroom apartment. If you kicked out the people who are there now and replaced them with a migrant family of 4, your monthly rental income rises to €4200. What do you do?

Back to Hamza. If he knows what he's doing -- and drug dealers tend to be pretty savvy -- he and his lawyer will take advantage of all of the many appeals the German legal system affords for rejected asylum claims. A fair estimate is that his case will take 2 years to decide. Plus the initial 6 months, that comes out to 912 days. Assuming very liberally that the per diem costs of housing and feeding Hamza are only €50, that comes out to €45,625. Add to that the cost of social workers, German courses, job training, free local transportation, interpreters, the time of all the lawyers and judges needed to file the asylum claim and appeals. And any medical care Hamza requires during his tenure. All of which will be provided free by the German state. 

I'd say an extremely conservative estimate of the total costs Hamza -- a man who has no legal right to be in Germany (he said himself: "I'm illegal, not refugee"), and who is siphoning resources from actual war refugees -- will cost the German state at least €200,000 during his stay.

And then comes the fateful day when all of Hamza's appeals are exhausted, and he receives a letter warning him, in advance, of his impending deportation. Hamza and his lawyer will, of course, have an independent chance to challenge the deportation order itself, which they will use. If that fails, Hamza will likely go underground, joining the 600,000 residents of Germany already here who were supposed to be deported but didn't go.

Even if they manage to get Hamza onto a plane for deportation to Algeria, all he has to do is tell the captain that he is there against his will. The captain will then let him leave the plane as a security risk. The €700 special ticket bought by the German government will go to waste.

Believe it or not, this is a pretty accurate depiction of the typical German procedure for deciding asylum claims at this point, pending any changes. Feel free to correct me if you think I've gotten anything wrong. If you ask me, this system is not only expensive but broken. It would have a hard time fairly and efficiently processing 20,000 asylum claims. Faced with 1 million, it will melt down spectacularly. In fact it's already doing that right now. 


Coming Soon to Germany: Hamza, the Murderous Algerian Drug Dealer

In the mainstream German press, the mere suggestion (g) that some of the people claiming to be Syrian are fakers is enough to start an anguished controversy.

The Washington Post (g) which seems to be taking on the role of migrant-crisis bullshit detector, is more curious than afraid. It sends an Arabic-speaking reporter to the Vienna Westbahnhof (I wonder whether that idea has occurred to any German journalists?) and spots dozens of fakes in just a few hours. They include Iraqis with suspicious bullet wounds, an Algerian who freely confesses to being a drug dealer and attempted murderer, and a group of Indians claiming to be bank employees in Damascus who, comically enough, are unable to speak Arabic:

There are well-dressed Iranians speaking Farsi who insist they are members of the persecuted Yazidis of Iraq. There are Indians who don’t speak Arabic but say they are from Damascus. There are Pakistanis, Albanians, Egyptians, Kosovars, Somalis and Tunisians from countries with plenty of poverty and violence, but no war.

...

Many of the asylum seekers tell journalists and aid workers they are from Syria, even if they are not, under the assumption that a Syrian shoemaker fleeing bombed-out Aleppo will be welcome, while a computer programmer from Kosovo will not be.

It is common knowledge on the migratory route that some who are not from Syria shred their real passports in Turkey and simply fake it.

A couple of reporters, one a native Arabic speaker, who wandered through train stations in Vienna found plenty of newcomers whose accents did not match their stories and whose stories did not make sense.

Swimming in the river of humanity are shady characters, too, admitted criminals, Islamic State sympathizers and a couple of guys from Fallujah, one with a fresh bullet wound, who when asked their occupation seemed confused.

“Army,” said one. His friend corrected him. “We’re all drivers,” he said.

...

At Vienna Westbahnhof railway station, a tight clutch of men lined up at the ticket windows. Days of rough travel lay behind them. All had one aim: Germany.

When asked by a reporter where they were from, the men answered, “We are from Syria.”

When a reporter switched to the North African dialect, the men laughed nervously. “We are Algerians,” they admitted.

Hamza, 27, is from Algiers. “I am illegal, not refugee,” he said. “In my country, the only thing you can do there is either drugs or crimes. So I was in prison several times, for drugs, also for trying to kill another guy.”

...

“It’s really easy now to travel with these refugees. We received food and shelter, and a nice welcoming from people so far.”

He said he has met Tunisians, Moroccans and Libyans playing the same game.

“So when someone asks us, where do you live? We say Damascus. Where are you from? Answer Syria.”

...

Another group of men, standing in line for free food, spoke English among themselves but with an Indian accent.

One said his name was “Hassan.”

“We grew up in Syria; our fathers worked there for many years,” Hassan said.

He had worked in Syria, in a bank, in Damascus, he said.

When a reporter spoke to them in Arabic, the men smiled and said, “No Arabic, only English.” Asked where they lived in Damascus, they couldn’t really say.

They excused themselves and wandered away.

...

Most economic migrants and war refugees in Vienna say they have arrived without showing a single document to authorities. Nor are they photographed, fingerprinted or subjected to biometric measurements.

There are two poles to the world's reaction to the migrant crisis: Admiration for the welcoming attitude of Germans, and amazement at their naivete and short-sightedness. Sometimes both at the same time.


Sweden's Immigration 'Fantasy', Debunked

I found the original English version of the article quoted by Gunnar Heinsohn, and it's worth quoting at length. It's by Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail, Canada's largest-circulation newspaper:

Sweden takes in more refugees per capita than any other European country, and immigrants – mainly from the Middle East and Africa – now make up about 16 per cent of the population. The main political parties, as well as the mainstream media, support the status quo. Questioning the consensus is regarded as xenophobic and hateful. Now all of Europe is being urged to be as generous as Sweden.

So how are things working out in the most immigration-friendly country on the planet?

Not so well, says Tino Sanandaji. Mr. Sanandaji is himself an immigrant, a Kurdish-Swedish economist who was born in Iran and moved to Sweden when he was 10. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago and specializes in immigration issues. This week I spoke with him by Skype.

“There has been a lack of integration among non-European refugees,” he told me. Forty-eight per cent of immigrants of working age don’t work, he said. Even after 15 years in Sweden, their employment rates reach only about 60 per cent. Sweden has the biggest employment gap in Europe between natives and non-natives.

In Sweden, where equality is revered, inequality is now entrenched. Forty-two per cent of the long-term unemployed are immigrants, Mr. Sanandaji said. Fifty-eight per cent of welfare payments go to immigrants. Forty-five per cent of children with low test scores are immigrants. Immigrants on average earn less than 40 per cent of Swedes. The majority of people charged with murder, rape and robbery are either first- or second-generation immigrants. “Since the 1980s, Sweden has had the largest increase in inequality of any country in the OECD,” Mr. Sanandaji said.

It’s not for lack of trying. Sweden is tops in Europe for its immigration efforts. Nor is it the newcomers’ fault. Sweden’s labour market is highly skills-intensive, and even low-skilled Swedes can’t get work. “So what chance is there for a 40-year-old woman from Africa?” Mr. Sandaji wondered.

Sweden’s fantasy is that if you socialize the children of immigrants and refugees correctly, they’ll grow up to be just like native Swedes. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Much of the second generation lives in nice Swedish welfare ghettos. The social strains – white flight, a general decline in trust – are growing worse. The immigrant-heavy city of Malmo, just across the bridge from Denmark, is an economic and social basket case.

Sweden’s generosity costs a fortune, at a time when economic growth is stagnant. The country now spends about $4-billion a year on settling new refugees – up from $1-billion a few years ago, Mr. Sanandaji said. And they keep coming. Sweden automatically accepts unaccompanied minors. “We used to take in 500 unaccompanied minors a year,” he said. “This year we are expecting 12,000.”

Yet Sweden’s acute immigration problems scarcely feature in the mainstream media. Journalists see their mission as stopping racism, so they don’t report the bad news. Despite – or perhaps because of – this self-censorship, the gap between the opinion elites and the voters on immigration issues is now a chasm. According to a recent opinion poll, 58 per cent of Swedes believe there is too much immigration, Mr. Sanandaji noted. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party is now polling at between 20 per cent and 25 per cent.

Sweden is a cautionary tale for anyone who believes that Europe is capable of assimilating the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who are besieging the continent, or the millions more who are desperately poised to follow in their wake. The argument that these people are vital to boost the economy – that they will magically create economic growth and bail the Europeans out of their demographic decline – is a fantasy.

It’s really very simple, Mr. Sanandaji explained. You can’t combine open borders with a welfare state. “If you’re offering generous welfare benefits to every citizen, and anyone can come and use these benefits, then a very large number of people will try to do that. And it’s just mathematically impossible for a small country like Sweden to fund those benefits.”

Skeptical observers worldwide look on Sweden's immigration policies as questionable at best, a disaster at worst. And Sweden is doubling -- actually, more like quintupling -- down on those policies as we speak. Unless, of course, the Sweden Democrats have anything to say about it.

And it looks like very soon, they will.


German Word of the Week: Jubelperser

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On June 2, 1967, the Shah of Iran and his wife Farah paid a state visit to Berlin, West Germany. Wherever he went, there were demonstrations by Berliners against the hospitality being shown to the dashing autocrat. To shield him from these demonstrators, the Iranian regime arranged for a group of about 150 Iranians to accompany the Shah and cheer him on.

Since the people were Persian, and since they cheered and celebrated (jubeln in German) the Shah, they were called the Jubelperser (g) "Cheering-Persians". It's pronounced roughly YOU-bull-pair-zer. But these Jubelperser had a sinister side as well -- some of them were members of the SAVAK secret police.

As the protests came to a head during the Shah's visit to the Berlin opera house, the Jubelperser took a break from cheering, whipped out clubs, sticks, and batons, and began beating nearby demonstrators. German police, who despised the student demonstrators, stood by and watched without doing a thing except possibly smirking.

Later that day, when the Berlin police violently dispersed the demonstrators, policeman Karl-Heinz Kurras (g) for reasons that remain unclear to this day, pulled out his gun and shot student demonstrator Benno Ohnesorg (g) to death. Kurras was never convicted of a crime for the shooting. In 2009 it was revealed that he had been an unofficial collaborator with the Stasi. The death of Ohnesorg on June 2, 1967 greatly accelerated the radicalization of parts of the German student movement -- in fact, one terrorist group that operated during the 1970s was called the "June 2nd Movement".

Jubelperser has entered the German vocabulary to describe paid professional fans, or generally any crowd which displays unnatural or exaggerated enthusiasm. There doesn't have to be something a bit menacing about their display, but if there is, the term fits even better. Example of use in a sentence: "When a flightsuit-clad Angela Merkel ran awkwardly onstage to the sound of 'Rock You Like a Hurricane', the audience, mainly members of the Youth Wing of the Christian Democrat Party, dutifully cheered like Jubelperser."


Swedish Immigration Policy is a Disaster, not a Model

When German journalists try to persuade their readers that Germans should take even more migrants than it currently does, they usually point to Sweden. Sweden has accepted 57 migrants per 10,000 residents in the current crisis as opposed to Germany's 15.

What these journalists rarely mention is that Sweden's immigration policy is a total failure. 14% of the Swedish population have migrant roots.* Gunnar Heinsohn, in Die Weltquotes (g, my translation) brutally revealing statistics compiled by Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji (himself an Iranian Kurdish migrant) on how they are doing:

48 percent of working-age immigrants are unemployed. Even after 15 years in Sweden, only 60 percent have a job. Sweden has the largest gap between labor-market participation between immigrants and natives in Europe.

42 percent of the long-term unemployed are immigrants. 58 percent of all Swedish social-welfare payments go to immigrants. 45 percent of the children with the worst school performance are immigrants. Immigrants earn, on average, 40 percent less than natives. Since the 1980s, Sweden has had the greatest increase in inequality of all OECD nations.

As I've noted before, Sweden's immigrants moved away from the boring rural towns they were placed in and concentrated in urban ghettos which have become riot-prone no-go zones where police only go in force. Just a few months ago rival immigrant gangs carried out four hand-grenade attacks in a week in Malmö.

Imagine that: hand grenades exploding in Swedish cities.

The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party "have surged in the polls from 5.7 per cent in 2010 to 12.9 per cent at last year’s elections and a poll by Sentio Research this month [September 2015] put the party at 26.5 per cent." They are now the most popular political party in Sweden, although, incredibly, mainstream Swedish parties are still trying to exclude them:

Nicholas Aylott of Sodertorn University says consensus among the other parties on immigration has left the field open for the Sweden Democrats. “The degree to which the other parties loathe the Sweden Democrats is amazing. But the debate is now taking place on the fringes,” he says.

Paula Bieler, a Sweden Democrat MP and the party’s spokesperson for integration, revels in the antagonism. “This is dividing the country. People are now seeing that what we have said for a long time isn’t that weird,” she says.

The party went into the last elections promising to cut immigration by 90 per cent, saying that there was a choice between accepting more immigrants and maintaining high welfare standards. 

Continue reading "Swedish Immigration Policy is a Disaster, not a Model" »


Germany's Jews Rightly Concerned About Mass Uncontrolled Migration of Arabs

The JTA reports the concerns of Germany's Jews about current immigration:

But many Jews here believe that Germany’s atonement for its past is coming at Jewish expense. They’re worried that the influx of hundreds of thousands of Muslims will turn Germany into a place hostile to Jewish concerns and to Israel – and that along with the migrants there are terrorist infiltrators who will try to realize their dreams of jihad on German soil.

It’s not that Jews in Germany are unmoved by the plight of the downtrodden migrants — many Jews here are themselves migrants from the former Soviet Union — but sympathy takes a back seat to the harsh concerns of realpolitik.

“I have no problem contributing some money to help some people, but for the German government to accept a tide of refugees? No,” said a Jewish immigrant who lives in Potsdam, near Berlin. Like others interviewed for this story who criticized Merkel’s welcome of the refugees, he asked that he not be identified.

“These Arabs have no possibility of integration,” he said. “They can’t contribute to society. I prefer Balkan immigration.”

For now, Germany’s Jews are keeping a low profile. They number some 200,000 in a country of 80 million. Their political influence is negligible.

“Why should the Jews talk publicly about it?” the Potsdam Jew said. “We’re not significant enough to make a difference in state policy.”

Jews aren’t the only ones with deep reservations, even resentment, toward the migrants. Many Germans share similar concerns about terrorist infiltrators and how Germany might be transformed by a massive influx of Arab and Muslim migrants. They, too, don’t want the problems of France, where unemployment, poverty and radicalism are problems among the country’s 6 million Muslims.

The problem is not that German is accepting Muslim immigrants. The problem is that it is accepting a million of them all at once, selected at random, without any prior background checks or controls.

Nobody disputes that this is happening.

As I pointed out before on this blog there is no doubt that many of these immigrants despise Jews and Israel. Over 90% of Arabs have unfavorable views of Jews: 

In the predominantly Muslim nations surveyed, views of Jews were overwhelmingly unfavorable. Nearly all in Jordan (97 percent), the Palestinian territories (97%) and Egypt (95%) held an unfavorable view. Similarly, 98% of Lebanese expressed an unfavorable opinion of Jews, including 98% among both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, as well as 97% of Lebanese Christians.

The survey was conducted between May 18 to June 16, 2009.

The sample size of each of the countries surveyed was over 1,000 people and the margin of error was 3%. Results for the surveys in these nations are based on face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. All surveys are based on national samples, except in Pakistan where the sample was disproportionately urban.

And as I pointed out, vicious anti-Semitic propaganda is rampant in Syria. Most of Germany's new arrivals will probably not act on their views, but when you're talking about 600,000 to 700,000 young men, it is certain that some of them will act on their Jew-hatred in some way. Propaganda, harassment, beatings, attacks.

This obvious danger could have been minimized by careful screening, but there is no screening, careful or otherwise. It would also be possible to "re-educate" and monitor 10,000, 20,000, or 30,000 new arrivals to counter anti-Semitism and prevent anti-Semitic harassment and attacks.

With 1 million? Not a chance.

So far, I haven't heard a single German politician even mention this obvious potential problem, much less propose any method of dealing with it. They seem to simply be hoping that people will discard their deeply-held beliefs once they cross the border into Germany.

Alas, hope is not a plan. Magic pixie dust doesn't exist.

Fasten your seat-belts, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

 


Secretive German Gov't to Citizens: You Can't See Migrant Data. Go Away.

One thing you notice about the immigration debate is that the German government is keeping much information about immigrants in German secret, and nobody is doing anything about that. The only reason we know that 600,000 migrants are currently staying in Germany even though their asylum claims have been denied is that a CSU party member forced a government agency to divulge the data using a parliamentary question.

The FAZ, just today, noted that the Federal Migration Ministry treats the total number of migrants in Germany right now like a "state secret (g)". Also today, in an interview with Die Welt, a migration researcher noted (g): "Foreign nationals in Germany are recorded in the Central Foreign National Registry. The agency in charge of this database is very restrictive when it comes to releasing data from it." This, he adds, makes it difficult to answer questions about whether they find jobs or integrate into society successfully.

You would think that a government which claims it wants informed, engaged citizens would freely share information about the most important issue facing the country right now.

I repeat, the fate of the masses of immigrants arriving in Germany is, by universal consent, the most important issue facing the country right now. Germans of all political stripes are calling this the most important political challenge Germany has faced since reunification, perhaps even since World War II.

But no, the government will not share the mass of data it has collected on this question with its own citizens.

I wonder why that is?

For a Western democracy which sang the praises of Edward Snowden, Germany is incredibly secretive. It does have a version of the Freedom of Information Act, but it is either toothless, or German journalists lack the courage or know-how to use it.

So, to any German journalists who may read this blog, I have a simple question: Why haven't you filed a lawsuit to force German government agencies to reveal the vast masses of data it has about immigrants in Germany? Don't your readers deserve the unfiltered truth?

 


Germany is Powerless to Deport Migrants, Everyone Who Arrives Gets to Stay

When skeptics grumble in comments to German newspapers that 'nobody will ever get deported once they reach Germany', they are right.

This fact is important, since it means that the German state is unlikely to ever successfully deport any significant number of the migrants who are coming in now. So all of those Pakistanis, Afghans, Bangladeshis, Moldovans, Moroccans, etc. who are mixing in with the Syrians and riding the coattails of the current immigration wave will be able to stay for years on end, receiving government welfare and diverting scarce resources from actual Syrian war refugees. They will be permitted to do this even though they have no legal grounds for asylum. 

You would think this fact would be vital to understanding what's really at stake in the German immigration debate, and you'd be right. Nevertheless, mainstream German newspapers ignore it, so it took the Washington Post to explain why the German legal system fails here. (You may notice that the Washington Post refrains from using the misleading term 'refugees' for people who aren't.)

Even in the United States, deportation cases of undocumented migrants can linger for years. But because the migrants coming to Europe in dramatic waves are largely applying for legal asylum, they are benefiting from a catalogue of appeals and pseudo-statuses including a precarious right to remain that is simply called “toleration.” If they can stall long enough, German codes potentially allow them to beat the system and win permanent residency. And even when deportation orders come through, there are ingenious ways around them.

Hassan was one of the unlucky ones.... [L]ike most of the hopeful refugees arriving here, he first entered Europe in a different country. In his case, it was Bulgaria, a no man’s land for migrants where he was slapped in jail. Under E.U. law, Germany does not have to listen to his claim. It can just send him back.

It tried to do just that on the cold December morning last year when police hauled him to Frankfurt Airport.

But once aboard a flight, Hassan managed to block his deportation. German policies restrict the use of force during expulsions, and some deportees have taken to kicking and screaming inside plane cabins to thwart take-off. Hassan said he merely informed the crew that he was leaving involuntarily. The result: Citing a possible safety risk, the pilot allowed him to disembark. With no grounds to detain Hassan further under German law, frustrated authorities released him.

Back in Kassel, his lawyer found him a shield against another deportation attempt: Church asylum. Hassan packed up and moved into a welcoming Catholic church.... If he can avoid deportation for four more months, a loophole in the asylum law would compel the German government to hear the merits of his case. Because the Germans — citing logistical and safety issues — are generally not deporting Somalis to their home country, he has a good chance of being allowed to stay.

...

Germany last year managed to return only 4,700 of the 35,000 migrants who were told to go back to those nations — in part because deportations are difficult. Commercial and charter flights can be expensive. Also, many of the migrants coming now don’t have passports or travel papers, making expulsion a bureaucratic and logistical mess.

The new law, however, would not close the important loophole being used here by Hassan and others to avoid deportation to transit countries. If an asylum seeker can manage to fend off deportation for six to 18 months, the German government has no choice but to reopen their case.

...

Germany has already sent back thousands of rejected asylum claimants from Balkan countries. But for many rejected asylum seekers, a final ruling can, or often does, take years. If they can stretch out their cases for up to six years, a law here allows many to apply for permanent status — suggesting that Germany may be forced to absorb the majority of those seeking asylum.

...

“Deportation is always difficult, but maybe you have to remove 100,000 to help the other 600,000 find a way to stay,” said Demetrios G. Papademetriou, president emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank. “Europe needs to develop a backbone, to say that on principle, if you are an unauthorized immigrant, an economic migrant, we are going to identify you and send you back.”

The upshot: You can manipulate German law to gain permanent residency and even citizenship long after your unfounded claim to asylum is rejected. Only the very foolish or short-sighted ever get deported against their will. The German state simply lacks the will to enforce its own immigration laws. Even if those laws actually do change and become harsher, there's no guarantee they'll survive court scrutiny.

So under current trends, at least 90% of the million migrants due to arrive this year alone are going to be able to find some way to stay in Germany for the rest of their lives. And many will earn the right to bring 3-4 family members with them.


Why does Sweden Have One of the Highest Sexual Assault Rates in the World?

Every year when comparative crime statistics are updated, there's a head-scratcher: why does the nation of Sweden have one of the the highest rates of sexual assault in the world? The Wikipedia article "Rape in Sweden" consists of little other than a long series of convoluted explanations for this puzzling state of affairs, including expansive legal definitions of sexual assault, awareness campaigns to encourage reporting, and other factors. The problem, of course, is that all Nordic countries have similar cultural and legal environments, but Sweden's rate of sexual assault is 6 or 7 times higher than all neighboring countries. According to a Gatestone Institute report by Swedes Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard:

[I]n 2008, Sweden's neighbor Denmark only had 7.3 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants compared to 53.2 in Sweden?

Danish legislation is not very different from Sweden's, and there is no obvious reason why Danish women should be less inclined to report rape than their Swedish counterparts.

In 2011, 6,509 rapes were reported to the Swedish police -- but only 392 in Denmark. The population of Denmark is about half the size of Sweden's, so even adjusted for size, the discrepancy is significant.

The report cites a statistic from the Swedish National Council on Crime Prevention that 58% of these sexual assaults were by strangers, which is a lot. The report goes on to suggest a different explanation for Sweden's dubious distinction: immigration. This is total immigration and emigration from Sweden for the past 150 years:

900px-Invandrare_utvandrare_Sverige_1850-2007.svg

After observing that Sweden, like many other European countries, does not keep records on the ethnicity of criminals (how can you be accused of discrimination when you don't keep the numbers that would reveal it?), the Gatestone Report notes that there have been a few -- very few -- academic studies on the prevalence of sexual assaults by immigrant Swedes. The ones that were performed came to rather startling conclusions:

Since 2000, there has only been one research report on immigrant crime. It was done in 2006 by Ann-Christine Hjelm from Karlstads University.

It emerged that in 2002, 85% of those sentenced to at least two years in prison for rape in Svea Hovrätt, a court of appeals, were foreign born or second-generation immigrants.

A 1996 report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention reached the conclusion that immigrants from North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) were 23 times as likely to commit rape as Swedish men. The figures for men from Iraq, Bulgaria and Romania were, respectively, 20, 18 and 18. Men from the rest of Africa were 16 times more prone to commit rape; and men from Iran, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, 10 times as prone as Swedish men.

Now, I don't read Swedish, and can't thus vouch for the accuracy of these statistics. But the previous article from the conservative Gatestone Institute largely checked out, so I am willing to bet they are right.

In any case, I cannot find any detailed refutation of this report, which is packed with statistics, citations and references to original-language sources. It seems to have been met, as is usual with these sorts of reports, with uncomfortable silence. The report cites a telling story of Swedish journalists misleading their readers about who exactly committed a highly-publicized gang-rape:

This month, all major Swedish media reported on a brutal gang rape on board the Finnish Ferry Amorella, running between Stockholm and Åbo in Finland. Big headlines told the readers that the perpetrators were Swedish:

  • "Several Swedish Men Suspected of Rape on the Finland Ferry" (Dagens Nyheter).
  • "Six Swedish Men Raped Woman in Cabin" (Aftonbladet).
  • "Six Swedes Arrested for Rape on Ferry" (Expressen).
  • "Eight Swedes Suspected of Rape on Ferry" (TT – the Swedish News Agency).

On closer inspection, it turned out that seven of the eight suspects were Somalis and one was Iraqi. None of them had Swedish citizenship, so they were not even Swedish in that sense. According to witnesses, the group of men had been scouring the ferry looking for sex. The police released four of them (but they are still suspects) whereas four (all Somalis) remain in custody.

In any event, if it is the case that immigrant males from Arab nations are "23 times as likely" to commit rape as Swedish males once they reach Sweden, wouldn't that perhaps be of relevance, considering that Sweden is currently slated to import tens of thousands more young males from Arab countries? What can Sweden do to reduce the risk of this group of immigrants behaving in a similar fashion? Should immigrants receive special instruction on Swedish laws about sexual assault? I consider these to be important public-safety questions that deserve discussion, not paranoid right-wing fantasies.

And now let's look at it from a left-wing angle. Unless your trust in the Swedish justice system is absolute, you might be tempted to raise another question: is the fact that 85% of all men in prison for serious sexual assault in Sweden are foreigners a true representation of social reality? Or is it possible that they are being singled out or discriminated against? Perhaps Swedish judges are less likely to believe foreigners' explanations for disputed sexual encounters. Perhaps the language barrier or lack of resources plays a role. Perhaps immigrant suspects are getting longer sentences than ethnic Swedes for similar crimes ?

European journalists immediately assume that the over-representation of black Americans in prison signals racism in the justice system. Could something similar be going on in Sweden? Why aren't crusading journalists like Mikeal Blomkvist trying to find this out? Is it because they trust the Swedish justice system to always reach the right conclusions, no matter what? Is it because they are afraid of finding out that the conviction rates actually do reflect reality?

An another question: conservative (but not just conservative) Europeans denounce the mainstream press for actively downplaying immigrant crime, giving citizens an inaccurate picture of what is actually happening in their societies. And looking into the matter, it is clear that European journalists actually do this. It's not just a crazy accusation by right-wing tub-thumpers. If you refer to rape suspects who don't even have Swedish citizenship as "Swedish men", you are lying to your readers. Since this actually happens, the conversation should move on: why does it happen? Perhaps journalists have an explanation for deceiving their readers on this point. Perhaps this explanation might be convincing. But they never even give one. They simply deceive their readers, and then when caught, perhaps make a few hasty edits.

Can anyone point me to an example of a European journalist giving an open, honest, forthright, thoughtful explanation of why many press organs downplay immigrant crime?

Fragen über Fragen, as the German saying goes: Question upon question...