Tomorrow is the big day in Sweden, when the Final Report on Immigration Policy will be released by the Swedish government.
Swedish reader LN sends a detailed summary of the situation, with translations of excerpts from Swedish sources, plus his own commentary:
In the Weekly Standard, February 28, 2005, Christopher Caldwell writes: In a country where, as the Swedish sociologist Åke Daun puts it, “People like being like each other,” there is evidence of profound exhaustion with immigration, whether the reasons for this exhaustion are rationally well-founded or not. In the moral-superpower context, it is the equivalent of “imperial overstretch. Swedes tell pollsters they want no more asylum-seekers. (A common complaint is that prospective arrivals have figured out how to “game” the rules of asylum applications, and that the best way to render one’s story unchallengeable under the law is to destroy one’s identity papers.) A very low rate of mixed marriage is an indication that Swedes may not have been crazy about this immigration in the first place.
Caldwell then quotes Masoud Kamali, an Iranian-born professor of ethnic studies at the University of Uppsala who arrived in Sweden 1987 under the pretext of being a political refugee. He studied efficiently: Ph.D. in December 1995, 1999 senior lecturer in sociology and since 2002 he is a professor in ‘social work’. He has declared himself being a non-believing muslim (sic).
“Many of us,” says Masoud Kamali, “saw Sweden as the homeland of tolerance, solidarity, and democracy, based on the image of Sweden abroad. Yet foreigners find that the longer they live in Sweden, the more foreign they feel.”
Kamali, who directs studies on xenophobia and social exclusion for both the E.U. and the Swedish government, says: “Integration is a complete failure: No one can deny it.”
Kamali, a radical and controversial figure, speculates that a fear of getting segregated out of the society may be the reason that immigrants have shown themselves in favor of European Union membership, both at the ballot box and in opinion polls. “They think: ‘You are not going to be a Swede — or, at least, it’s not you who’s going to decide if you are a Swede.’ but perhaps you can choose to be a European.”
The then integration minister Mona Sahlin — in several contexts mentioned as a society-smasher — in 2004 set up an investigation into a new “Integration Policy”. After a year, she chose to replace the research management since they did not present preliminary results in line with the policy of the party (Social Democrats). The investigation had come to the conclusion that Sweden favours immigrants in many different ways, and such research-results did she not want (another Swedish link in English!).
The controversial Masoud Kamali was appointed the new head of the investigation. The investigation has already presented 12 partial reports before the final report, which will be made public on the 17th of August 2006. These have shredded the picture of the Swedish integration policy and have become fuel in the hot discussion about what the investigator calls “a policy that has crashed” (havererat).
The right wing daily paper SvD has published part of Kamali’s proposals from a draft of the future Final Report . The conclusion of this investigation is that Sweden now is characterized as having structural discrimination targeted against persons with foreign backgrounds and that a we-and-them thinking permeates the society.
The two dozen points that the document contains have in common the demand that policy be turned around, from setting demands on the immigrants to the requirement that the society must be changed.
Within five years Swedish authority staffing must reflect what Sweden looks like ethnically. State authorities with more than ten employees must introduce an entire new personnel policy, suggests Masoud Kamali. The objective is that the personnel’s ethnic composition within five years must be changed, so that it reflects what Sweden’s population looks like.
The authority of patrolling police officers to intercept persons on the street and to do “arbitrary intervening” must be limited.
In order to correct the current situation, where persons with background in non-European countries are under-represented, the investigator suggests that the State Authorities introduce positive special treatment. Persons with one parent from Africa, Asia or Latin America will be favoured.
The investigator also wants to abandon the wording in the school law that says that the school rests on a common value-system-base characterized by Christian tradition and occidental humanism. As this idea about a value-system-base is built on an established we-and-them thinking, immigrants are incorrecly considered as alteration-objects, according to the draft.
Masoud Kamali has also suggested that people living in “exposed areas” ( does he mean “immigrant-ghettos”? — translator) by law should get priority in jobs in comparison to others with equivalent qualifications.
Current integration minister Jens Orback has been strongly hesitant about many of these ideas.
Masoud Kamali has refused to comment on the content before the investigation becomes public. Nor does Jens Orback want to comment.
Making sense of this kind of foolishness is difficult. It’s like a man with a burned hand sticking it back into the flame in an attempt to cauterize the wound.