Heard in the West: The Left Party's Death Rattle

Another victim of the recent round of voting was the German Left Party. Despite a few last-minute rhetorical feints here and there, the party supported Merkel's open-borders policy. And were crushed: shut out of Parliament in the two western Länder. Most of the Left Party's base of working-class and unemployed Germans who abandoned them went to the right-wing AfD (g).

It turns out that working-class Germans think open borders is a foolish and dangerous idea, emphatically reject the argument that they should feel guilty about the meager level of prosperity they enjoy, and want their government's resources to be directed primarily to assisting the needy among current legal residents of their country.

Who could have predicted this shocking lurch to the extreme right?

This Just in: Unpopular Policies Lose Elections

My hot takes on the AfD's victories last night:

No Rightward Lurch, Just Opposition to Open Borders

This doesn't mean Germany's drifting, or lurching, or goose-stepping to the right. It's quite simple: 80% of Germans oppose Merkel's open-borders policies. Every single mainstream party, however, has decided to back them. Immigration is currently by a wide margin the most important issue for German voters.

If every political party except one supports a policy that is (1) important to, and (2) rejected by, a vast majority of a country's population, then that one dissenting party represents the only choice, and will benefit.

We don't need Hannah Arendt to understand this vote, we only need Occam's razor.

Insults Aren't Arguments

The mainstream parties' tactic was simply to shriek ever-more hysterical insults at the AfD, in an blatant attempt to use superficial in-group signaling as a substitute for actual arguments. Racists, Nazis, xenophobes, intellectual arsonists, thugs, madmen, NPD-lite -- you name it, they've been called it. By the end, I was surprised they weren't just calling them out-and-out votaries of Cthulhu. This is the schoolyard strategy: call someone a nerd and a dork enough, and soon all the kids who want to be seen as cool (or at least not as nerds and dorks) will start avoiding them.

This doesn't work as well with adults. Especially when you're ignoring their express policy wishes.

Nobody Cares About Internal Party Squabbles

The CDU is trying to spin its defeat by arguing that the candidates who tried to distance themselves from Merkel's policy did poorly, while the ones who embraced it did well. This argument can safely be ignored. The vast majority of voters neither know nor care which local CDU politician said something nice or less-nice about Merkel. This sort of information is considered important by lazy reporters copying quotes from newsfeeds, but is rightly ignored as irrelevant static by most voters. It's irrelevant because these trivial verbal spats will have no influence at all on national policy. Unless Merkel changes her mind or is forced out, the policy which 80% of voters disagree with will continue.

Auf Wiedersehen, SPD

'nuff said.

The Cordon Sanitaire Will Backfire

German mainstream politicians will certainly try to draw a cordon sanitaire around the AfD, consigning the 15-20-30% of voters who favor its policies to permanent political irrelevance by means of an undemocratic center-cartel. Those who vote for the 'wrong' parties must be chastised by exile into political powerlessness until they learn their place. They will learn that even though they may get two, three, or even four times the vote share of 'acceptable' parties, their preferred party will never exercise power. This approach is currently breaking down all over Europe, as unruly voters keep defying the wishes of their betters. It will fail in Germany, too.

The AfD Will Go Away When Immigration Is Under Control

The AfD is a one-issue party in that most of its policy stances are actually not very popular. It will try to argue that its success represents a vote for all of its platform, but this is unconvincing. If Germans see the hundreds of thousands of frivolous asylum applicants being removed from Germany and the influx of new ones stopped, immigration will drop in importance, then the AfD will fade into irrelevance.


Frauke Petry's English: A Solid 'B'

I'd give her a solid 'B' in English, about comparable to the German '2'. Like many Germans, she seems to have learned her English from someone in the UK, so she has a German-English accent, which I always find amusing. Germans, for their part, find it amusing when I speak with a Rhineland accent.

The Times also publishes a short profile of Petry:

Ms. Petry and other nationalist-minded leaders ousted the more Europe-oriented founder of the party, then locked onto the identity issue as the embodiment of how Ms. Merkel and the German establishment were ruining the country and ignoring ordinary folk, said Hajo Funke, a politics professor at the Free University in Berlin.

Starting in the former Communist East Germany, in Ms. Petry’s home state of Saxony, they whipped “unhappiness about political and economic alienation” into anger and double-digit scores in opinion polls, Professor Funke said.

Ms. Petry has stood out, he added. “She wants power, she wants to get into government.”

Professor Funke and other leading political scientists are doubtful her success will last. But the immediate impact of the migrant crisis is undeniable, cutting across age, education, class, region and political persuasion....

In a shabby hall on the outskirts of Mannheim, a city of 300,000 about 60 miles south of Frankfurt, Ms. Petry got a sympathetic hearing from some 250 listeners.

“Germany is crazy,” said Katja Kornmacher, 46, who said she works in a publishing house and holds two university degrees. “We have the feeling that we can’t say anything” against the leftist view in Germany. “It starts in school, where we are told what is correct.”

“And those who follow this line land better in life,” she continued. “The line is: ‘Right is bad, left is good.’ And then the leftists are outside shouting against this democratic event.”

Apparently the New York Times hasn't gotten the memo that any article about Frauke Petry must be liberally salted with phrases like 'rabble-rouser', 'liar', 'cynical', and 'inhuman'.

It's almost as if they think their readers can make up their own minds.

"Almost Beyond Human Power to Deal with This"

The Washington Post reports on chaos in Berlin.

“I read about how industrious and successful the Germans are,” said Hamadich, who worked as a lab technician in Damascus. “But this,” he said, using both hands to indicate the refugees bundling up for another night on the sidewalk, “is not working.”

Germany is trying to distribute refugees to its states, cities and towns based largely on population and tax revenue. The city of Berlin, for instance, is set to receive more than 5 percent of all those coming and is attempting to manage the arrival of more than 9,000 asylum seekers in just the past three weeks. Shelters are so full that some of the refugees are receiving vouchers for private hostels.

But volunteer aid workers say the city is so behind on payments that many hostels are no longer accepting the vouchers. A city spokeswoman said that she could neither confirm nor deny the problem but that the city is trying to make good on its payments as soon as possible.

The national and local governments are racing to hire thousands of new police officers and bureaucrats to manage refugees. Schools, meanwhile, are desperately looking for new teachers to help with an estimated 300,000 new students. Irina Wissmann, principal at Berlin’s An der Bäke Elementary School, said none of the 300 qualified instructors provided to her in a list by city officials were available to work. She said that with 20 new refugee students already and double that number expected by year’s end, she is afraid of surging class sizes as well as issues with traumatized children.

“This is going to be very difficult,” she said.

...Outside the capital, meanwhile, allegations of rape at refugee centers are emerging. In the central city of Giessen, officials are investigating four cases of sexual assault at one temporary shelter. Civic groups say there was a lack of proper separation between men and women at the facility.

Coming at a time when the Volkswagen emissions scandal is tainting the reputation of Germany as a country of law-abiding winners, the strains of the refugee crisis are challenging perceptions of national competence.

“The state has clearly nothing under control here,” said Leila El-Abcah, a volunteer with Moabit Helps, a refugee aid group in central Berlin. In the evenings, she is trying to guide some refugees on the streets to the private homes of people willing to offer them shelter for the night. “If it weren’t for the many volunteers,” she said, “nothing would work, everything would collapse.”


“We are talking about numbers for the past two weeks that we are normally seeing in one year,” she said. “It is almost beyond human power to deal with this.”

The system described in this article will have to feed and house one new city of Frankfurt every 10 weeks.

Albanians and Pakistanis (Why Are They Here?) Stage Hours-Long Riot in Kassel

Yesterday, there was an hours-long riot (g) in a migrant shelter near Kassel. Apparently the cause was an Albanian teenager hitting an 80-year-old Pakistani who the teen thought was cutting in line for food. The riot kept going in waves. Albanians and Pakistanis attacked each other with sticks, pipes, clubs, and tear gas.

Yes, the migrants have tear gas.

50 police were needed to break up the riot. Fourteen migrants and three police were injured, some seriously. Police have now separated the two nationalities. German officials are now calling for migrants to be separated on the basis of ethnicity. Meanwhile, the German police union notes that outbreaks of violence are a daily occurrence (g) in shelters. (h/t MM). Oh, and in the past years, Germany has eliminated 16,000 police jobs, just in time for the arrival of hundreds of thousands of violent young male strangers.

There are many, many questions raised by this latest riot (including how did migrants get tear gas?!) but I'll focus on just one: What are Albanians and Pakistanis doing taking up expensive, scarce space in German migrant shelters?

Albania, as I've pointed out before, is a peaceful, stable country and attractive vacation spot which is very prosperous by world standards, and has been receiving hundreds of millions of Euros in EU aid to get it ready for its admission to the European Union.

Pakistan is not at war, and has problems no more serious than dozens of other developing countries. Add to that the fact that Pakistan is far away from Germany, so only the middle class can afford the bribes necessary to get here. A recent Daily Mail article interviews a few:

It is the same story when I meet Janaid Jamshad, a 25-year-old former student.

Also from Lahore, he has been here for ten days. ‘I came to Germany first in 2013 and they pushed me out again,’ he says with a laugh. ‘I came back when I heard Mrs Merkel was opening the doors. I have claimed asylum and they are processing my application. Because I am young, I hope they will take me.’

Not that everything is rosy for him now. ‘The camp is overflowing,’ he says. ‘I have just been to the doctor in the shopping centre because I have a headache. Even there, there are queues of migrants waiting. The doctors at the camp will only give one pill at a time. So we find other places for medical help, and pay for it.’

Back in the Giessen curry house, I continue talking to asylum claimant Atif. ‘We think having children will help us,’ he says. ‘Our house is very big, and they give us money, too.’

I point out that Karachi, despite the political violence there, is not in a war zone.

He still hopes to persuade the authorities he is a genuine refugee, though, and hopes he won’t be returned to Pakistan because he now has no official national identity — in a deal with the smuggling gang, he handed them his own passport and those of his family when they arrived in Germany. They were the ‘payment’ in exchange for the family’s fake visas and will be used again to smuggle more customers into Europe.

Do these sound like victims of political persecution to you?

Why are they still here, rioting, firing tear gas, and injuring each other and long-suffering German police?

Religious Fanatics Threaten Yezidis and Christians in German Shelters

I remember when just a few short months ago, I was scorned -- scorned!! -- for suggesting that migrants to German would bring their conflicts with them, just like all migrants in history have always done everywhere.

How times have changed.

The Welt am Sonntag publishes a long piece (g) on religious intimidation in German refugee shelters. The culprits are usually Sunni Muslim extremists whose main targets are Christian and Yezidi migrants. Where they're in the majority, they insist all shelter residents follow Sharia law, and insult and threaten those who don't. To intimidate other religions, they chant the same Koran verses IS members recite before beheadings. Christians are not allowed to help prepare food.

In Hemer, Algerian migrants attacked Eritrean Christians with a glass bottle. In Freising, an Iraqi Christian family reported threats from a fanatical Syrian Muslim, who beat his children and threatened to kill the family and drink their blood. They eventually returned to Iraq. Christians from different camps in Germany reported that private security guards do little about these incidents, because the guards themselves are mostly Muslim.

Simon Jacob, leader of the German Council of Oriental Christians, says: "The number of unreported incidents is high. We must anticipate further conflicts that refugees bring from their homelands into Germany. Between Christians and Muslims. Between Shiites and Sunnis. Between Kurds and extremists. Between Yezidis and extremists."

Max Klingberg from the International Society for Human Rights says: "We have to free ourselves of the illusion that all the people coming here are human-rights activists. Among the ones who are already here, there is a non-trivial fraction which, in their religious intensity, are at least at the level of the Muslim Brotherhood. Volunteers have reported aggression rising the level of threats of beheading by Sunnis against Shiites, but the ones hit hardest are Christians and Yezidis. The chance of a Christian convert who doesn't hide his or her faith being attacked or subjected to organized harassment is almost 100 percent."

Two questions:

First, why is Germany allowing tens of thousands of violent religious fanatics into its territory?

Second, once these fanatics reveal themselves by illegal threats and violence, why aren't they immediately being deported?

If German politicians think only xenophobes want answers to these questions, they are mistaken. And they'd better come up with some convincing answers soon.

This is one reason why I think there's a 20% chance Merkel will lose her job before the end of 2015. Even her closest party colleagues and friends have made it clear the decision to open Germany's borders was hers and hers alone. She owns this crisis. She still has an enormous amount of good will buffering her, but she's burning through it faster than a spaceship re-entering earth atmosphere.

Snapshots from the Migrant Crisis

Here's a selection of my short summaries of the stories on the "Refugee Crisis" live-blog of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany's leading center-right broadsheet, with my comments:

13:19: Migrants end hunger strike in Nuremburg, migrants in Griebo near Wittenberg begin hunger strike, demanding to be housed in apartments instead of a multifunction hall

13:07: Psychology professor Jürgen Hoyer says it’s no surprise so much violence in refugee shelters, many people of different backgrounds packed together

This is why Germany will start seizing private commercial and residential property in a desperate rush to get migrants into apartments where the risk of violence is lower. 

12:41: Federal government estimates 30% of those claiming to be Syrian when they arrive in Germany are lying.

12:28: Middle East Director of UNHCR says 8,000 people coming to Europe each day, no sign of decrease, and that these are ‘tip of the iceberg.'

As I've mentioned before in comments, I see no reason why migrant stream will reduce during winter, because (1) 80% of the journey will be in countries with mild winters; (2) by the time they get to the cold places there will be volunteers and trains: (3) migrants know they have a rapidly-closing time window, it's now or never.

12:16 Poll of 213 Dutch local governments reveals 80% have no place for migrants, 25% anticipate resistance from local citizens esp. based on fear of competition for subsidized housing, only 17% say they have sufficient resources to integrate refugees.

12:11 On German national TV, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said opening Germany’s borders (Merkel’s decision) led to situation going ‘out of control’

This is pretty amazing. Last night on a political talk-show watched by millions of Germans, the Interior Minister of Germany said the migrant situation was 'out of control'. The Interior Minister. And blamed it on a decision by Merkel, his close political ally & friend (though he didn't name her). You know what Germans don't like? Things that are out of control.

11:56: Knife-fight among 20 young men in shelter in Chemnitz, 2 young Tunisian men and 2 young Albanian men in hospital.

With thousands of new (presumably) genuine Syrian war refugees arriving every day, what are Tunisians and Albanians still doing here taking up precious shelter space and participating in gang knife-fights?

11:55: In an 1800-person shelted in Leipzig conference center there was a mass confrontation between 100-200 Syrians and Afghans, required ‘mass intervention’ of police to bring situation under control.

How long before the first murder in a migrant shelter? Weeks would be my guess. Rapes are already commonplace in some shelters, although nobody seems to care about that.

11:51: In Finland, gang dressed as KKK members pelt incoming migrant bus with stones and fireworks.

11:22 Sticks and metal rods converted to weapons found in Donaueschingen shelter after 400 refugees protested against planned relocation.

10:54: Majority of Germany continues to believe migrants can be accommodated, but majority shrank over last 2 weeks from 62 to 57 percent. Number who say it can’t be done rose from 35 to 40%.

I think we're going to see that trend continue.

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.

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" »

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:


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...