Malmö, Sweden: Growing Muslim Influence

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MALMO, Sweden -- A few years ago, the London Guardian newspaper called Sweden the most successful society the world has ever known. But Sweden today is being transformed by a large influx of immigrants from the Middle East.

Sweden's third largest city, Malmö, sits just across the water from Copenhagen, Denmark. To visitors, Malmö seems quiet, nice, maybe a little boring; in other words, quintessentially Swedish. But under the surface, Malmö has serious problems.

Click the player to see the report from CBN News Senior Reporter Dale Hurd followed by comments from Pat Robertson.

On Saturday when Israel played Sweden in a Davis cup tennis match in Malmö, an estimated 6,000 Leftists, Arabs, Muslims and anarchists protested the Israeli presence in the city, and hundreds attacked police. Almost no fans were allowed inside to watch the tennis series, because authorities feared disruptions or possible violence against the Israeli team.

Swedish City's Population One-Quarter Muslim

Massive immigration has made Malmö today one quarter Muslim, and stands to transform it into a Muslim majority city within just a few decades. One of the most popular baby names is not Sven, but Mohammed. Pork has been taken off some school menus. Want to learn to drive? You can attend Malmö's own "Jihad Driving School."

But despite Malmö's usually placid appearance, this experiment in multiculturalism has not gone well. In the Rosengaard section of Malmö, a housing project made up primarily of immigrants, fire and emergency workers will no longer enter without police protection.

Unemployment in Rosengaard is reported to be 70 percent. An immigrant-fueled crime wave affects one of every three Malmö families each year. The number of rapes has tripled in 20 years.

But Malmö has been so accommodating toward immigrant Muslims that a local Muslim politician, Adly Abu Hajar, has declared that "The best Islamic state is Sweden!"

Jews Cannot Walk The Streets

Don't ask Malmö's Jews to give the city the same glowing assessment. Jews who dare walk the streets wearing their yarmulkes risk being beaten up.

"It's true. Jews cannot walk the streets of Malmö and show that they're Jews," said Lars Hedegaard.

Hedegaard lives across the water from Malmö in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he was a columnist for one of Denmark's largest newspapers. He says pro-Israel demonstrations in Malmö, like the ones during the fighting in Gaza earlier this year, were met with rocks, bottles and pipe bombs from Arabs and Leftists.

"I was there for demonstration; a pro-Israeli demonstration with about 400 or 500 people," Hedegaard told CBN News.  "Jews and non-Jews, and I came over to cover it. The police allowed, I'd say a hundred Palestinians or Arabs to shout and threaten and throw bombs and rockets at us. A homemade bomb landed about ten yards from me, and went off with a big bang. And now of course, I thought the police were going to jump these guys, get them out of the way. They didn't. They just let them stand there."

Swede Ted Ekeroth helped film the Arab-Left counter-demonstrations. He saw Arabs throwing rocks at a 90-year-old holocaust survivor.

"I filmed the police chief and asked him why are they not reacting to this," Ekeroth said.  "Why are they not doing anything? And he simply answered, 'It's their right according to the Swedish constitution.'  We apparently did not have the same right, because we were forced out of there. Our manifestation for Israel is always peaceful, and theirs is always the quite opposite -- Death, hate and killing of Jews. They come and they shout different slogans," he continued.  "It can be everything from Arabic slogans inciting killing of Jews to in Swedish and Danish, 'Kill the Jews.'

Political Alliance Against Israel

And like all over the Western world, some on the Left, along with Arabs and Muslims and anarchists, have formed a political alliance against Israel and Jews. They demonstrate together, and in Sweden, they vote together. Muslims are a core constituency of the Left.

The immigrant issue a big reason the right-wing Swedish Democrats are the fastest growing political party in the country.

Matthias Karlsson is the Swedish Democrats' Press Secretary

"In many parts of Sweden, people are, as I said, fed up," Karlsson said.  "And they're being pushed too far and they want to make a stand."

Fascist and Bigoted?

Swedish Democrats, who stand for traditional Christian values and limits on immigration, have been stigmatized by the Swedish media as fascist and bigoted.

Erik Almqvuist is national youth leader for the Swedish Democrats.

"The media has tried to portray us as extremists, racists," he said.  "People think we're almost inhuman"

Almqvuist faces regular death threats, and was almost killed recently in a Left-wing knife attack.

"The multicultural model in Sweden has polarized society," Almqvuist explained.  "We have a political polarization. We have also an ethnic polarization. And the extremes are growing and it's harder and harder to get to consensus."

Hedegaard says as Malmö goes, so goes the rest of Sweden.

"I think the best prediction is that Sweden will have a Muslim majority by 2049, so we know where that country's going," he said.

CBN News was unable to get a response from Malmö's mayor, Ilmar Reepalu. But he told a Swedish publication that he does not think anti-Semitism is greater in Malmö than in other Swedish cities, and said that harassment of Jews is "not good."

CBN News also asked a number of Malmö Jewish leaders to appear on camera to discuss the climate of anti-Semitism. They all declined, with one saying it would only make the situation worse.

*Originally aired March 12, 2009.

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Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Senior Reporter

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