An article in The Times has 950 words, all about Sweden having become “Europe’s gun crime hotspot.”
That factual point could have been made in a short paragraph citing a few comparative figures. Juxtapose the number of shot victims in Sweden (114 killed since 2019, 290 wounded) with that in other countries, and Bjorn is your uncle. Job done.
A longish article, however, has to offer a semblance of analysis. Instead The Times offers dissemblance.
Among the 950 words the piece contains you won’t find one that explains the problem. That key word is Muslim.
For most (or at least a disproportionate number) of shootings and other crimes perpetrated in Sweden have been imported from the Middle East and North Africa.
Thus Malmö, a city of 350,000 souls of whom 40 per cent are Muslims, boasts more murders than the rest of Scandinavia combined. Muslims also commit 85 per cent of all rapes in Sweden.
The same happens in other countries too. In Germany, Muslim refugees commit 250,000 crimes a year. Muslims perpetrate two out of three rapes in Oslo and three out of four in Copenhagen. And in London, the areas that have the highest Muslim population also happen to boast the highest crime rates.
So how is it possible to omit the word ‘Muslim’ out of an article that length? Simple. What we are witnessing is a phenomenon I’d describe as the Woke Choke.
The Woke Choke is applied to (or, increasingly, by) writers to squeeze the truth out of the narrative, forcing it to conform to woke diktats. Hence there can be no suggestion of anything wrong with any group of people, whether defined by race, culture, religion or country of origin.
If some group stubbornly refuses to be forced into the egalitarian Procrustean bed, then it’s not to blame. We can blame anything else: capitalism, social injustice, insufficient social spending, income gap, Margaret Thatcher – anyone or anything, but not the group itself.
The article in question spends most of the space on soppy human-interest titbits, describing the anguish of parents whose children have been hit by stray bullets and some such. Yet only 60 words are devoted to an oblique attempt at some explanation. Here they are:
“Now a range of factors, from an increase in availability of firearms to the failed integration of immigrant communities, have combined to put guns in the hands of angry young men. The majority are from non-Swedish backgrounds – often born and raised in Sweden to foreign parents.”
Leaving aside the dubious link between availability of guns and crime, Sweden has some of the tightest firearm laws in the world. So how come this “increase in availability of firearms” has coincided in time with the influx of Muslim immigrants over the past decade?
One can’t help sensing that the old law of supply-demand hasn’t yet been repealed. Availability of illegal guns has increased because gangs of mostly Muslim “angry young men” drive the demand up. And economics tells us that a voracious demand will always find a supply, legal or otherwise.
I especially love this business with “failed integration of immigrant communities… from non-Swedish backgrounds – often born and raised in Sweden to foreign parents.”
Which immigrant communities? Which non-Swedish backgrounds? American? French? English? German? And whose failure is it?
For example, I know a French family living in Sweden. I speak either English or halting French to them, so I have no way of judging the success of their integration. However, taking a stab in the dark, I’d still venture a guess that, even if they are less than wholly Swedish, they are unlikely to go on the night-time prowl, gun in hand.
And what kind of people born and raised in a country – even if their parents are from elsewhere – won’t adopt the local mores? Some of my Russian friends have children born and raised in America, England or France, and take my word for it: they are indistinguishable from the locals.
If you’ll pardon a personal reference, my own son was seven when he emigrated to America. He had no trouble integrating – to a point where he became a successful journalist, who, alas, doesn’t even speak Russian.
There’s only one condition that would prevent native-born people from feeling at home in the country of their birth: refusal to do so. True enough, Muslim children often grow up not so much in a cultural ghetto as in a cultural prison cell.
Some children, for example, don’t even realise that Britain isn’t a Muslim country (yet). They read only Muslim papers, watch only Muslim TV channels, go to Muslim schools, have no non-Muslim friends – in fact, may not even know any non-Muslims.
To create such a bubble in a predominantly English-speaking environment takes concerted effort and alert vigilance. That way children born and bred in Britain – or for that matter in Sweden – can grow up so alienated from their country that they’ll happily see their compatriots as enemy combatants, to be blow up, stabbed or shot.
This is how I would have written a Times article on this subject. Yet something tells me I won’t be asked.