by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Dozens of masked men marched through a busy Stockholm shopping center and attacked any person who didn’t look like an “ethnic Swede.” The stories on the incident came with terrifying headlines.
They included: “Mob of masked men rampage through Stockholm station beating up refugee children;” “‘Hundreds’ of masked men beat refugee children in Stockholm;” and, the most sensational of all, “Stockholm pogrom: Crowd of masked men hunt and beat up non-Swedes.”
Video of the violence details a chaotic scene and eyewitnesses told various outlets that they were frightened for their safety. For a stable, First World country like Sweden, Saturday’s attack is quite the shock. Especially when the 50 or so men responsible (yeah, not quite “hundreds”) are believed to be affiliated with a neo-Nazi group and initiated the assaults in retaliation for the brutal murder of a Swedish social worker by a Nigerian migrant.
Government officials in the Nordic state have been quick to blame the “far-right” for the violence and have taken the incident as proof for why criticism of migrants should not be tolerated.
Certainly, Saturday’s violence is deplorable and was inflicted upon adults (the “children” line is about as accurate as the “hundreds” claim) who are, in all likelihood, innocent of any crimes associated with migrants.
But for the government and European media to place the blame for the violence entirely on Swedish nationalists and growing fears of refugees is ridiculous. The real blame should be placed on the authorities and outlets who have done everything possible to ignore and cover-up the migrant crimes — which has tragically led some citizens taking the law into their own hands.
For instance, coverage of the murder which is being cited as the inspiration for the attacks was not looked too kindly upon by Swedish authorities. A Daily Mail report on the social worker slaying was not accessible to Swedish ISP addresses and citizens in the country have reported other online stories on the crime facing similar government censorship.
Earlier in January, it was uncovered Swedish police covered-up several sexual assaults committed by refugees at a popular Stockholm music festival two years in a row. Most of the victims were teenagers, but some of the girls who were assaulted were as young as 11. Stockholm’s police chief admitted his force was “scared to tell the truth because we think it will benefit the Sweden Democrats [the country’s anti-immigration party].” It was also discovered that one of the country’s major newspapers buried the story after editors found out the culprits were Afghan refugees.