With a population of roughly 350,000, Malmö, which is located on the other side of the Örebro Bridge from Copenhagen, is, after Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden’s third largest city. It has the country’s highest unemployment rate and one of its youngest populations – both of which can be explained by the fact that in Sweden, which is perhaps Western Europe’s most heavily Islamized nation, Malmö is perhaps the most heavily Islamized city. Its high Muslim population is also the reason why Malmö has been known for years as the rape capital of Sweden – which, in turn, has been known for years as the rape capital of Europe.
Which is not to say that the situation in Malmö has been static. On the contrary, since I began writing about the Islamization of Europe two decades ago, it’s gone from bad to worse – to even worse. It’s no exaggeration to say that Malmö is the canary in Sweden’s – indeed, in Europe’s – coal mine. At a time when the novelist Michel Houellebecq has been under attack by the entire French cultural establishment for saying that the “Great Replacement” theory – the hypothesis that Europe’s natives are gradually being replaced by Muslims – is not theory but fact, no city on the entire continent does a better job than Malmö of proving him right.
And no American website, I daresay, has done more to chart Malmö’s precipitous decline than FrontPage. A brief sampling:
- On March 21, 2012, I wrote at FrontPage that “anti-Semitic activity by Muslim youth” was driving more and more Jews out of Malmö. With typical Swedish-elite gall, however, a newspaper editor named Kaj Schueler blamed this exodus not on Muslims but on Malmö’s proximity to Denmark. You see, Danes, in the eyes of self-righteous Swedes like Schueler, tend to be “anti-immigrant”; so all those Jews weren’t fleeing Malmö because of a genuine Muslim threat, but because they’d been infected by Danish Islamophobia. Got that? The problem wasn’t that Muslims hate Jews; it’s that Jews hate Muslims.
- On May 20, 2013, I noted here that Eurovision had been held in Malmö a few days earlier. And guess which country’s delegation was harassed and threatened on that city’s streets? Hint: its Eurovision entry was entitled “ רק בשבילו.”
- On September 5, 2013, I reported that the city of Malmö, in order to cover “its ever-rising expenditures on immigrants,” was proposing drastic cuts in spending on “sick and elderly native Swedes.” In fact, such cuts have been common throughout Sweden in recent years: people who’d paid high taxes all their lives to their beloved welfare state because it promised to spend that money taking care of them when they experienced medical or financial crises now see their cash being used to provide all of life’s necessities – and not a few luxuries – to Muslim immigrants. (In 2017, an article at the Gatestone Institute’s website stated that while many elderly Swedes in Malmö can’t afford decent housing, immigrant families were being given free apartments and almost-free dental care, along with many other amenities.)
- On December 19, 2013, I wrote at FrontPage that despite constant denials that there existed “no-go zones” in Sweden, the Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan had just published a map “showing the relative levels of danger in the various neighborhoods of Malmö.”
- On April 10, 2014, Peder “Fjordman” Jensen reported that Malmö was undergoing a crime wave several of whose teenage Muslim perpetrators had said they were “waging a war against the Swedes.” One of them added: “Power for me means that Swedes shall look at me, lie down on the ground and kiss my feet.” Of course, if you’ve been following these developments for any length of time, you’ll know that the Swedes have been engaged for years in precisely that kind of pathetic kowtowing.
- On April 11, 2016, Joseph Puder wrote here about a teacher who’d been fired from a Malmö public school because, as the principal explained, the pupils “hate[d] the Jews” and would’ve abused her terribly if she’d stayed on in the job. The principal made it clear that he wasn’t just talking about the Muslims – the Swedish kids hated Jews, too. True enough: in an attempt to make nice with Muslims, many Swedes have indeed adopted their Koran-based Jew-hatred. How sweet is it that Swedes are willing to go so far to make their new countrymen feel welcome?
- On February 22, 2017, I quoted Malmö police chief Stefan Sinteus’s comment that the city was experiencing an “upward spiral of violence” by Muslim immigrants.
- On April 11, 2017, I recounted an episode of a 60 Minutes-type Danish TV show featuring a Malmö do-gooder who’d spent decades trying, as I put it, “to cozy up to her Muslim neighbors and help them become full members of Swedish society.” But her attitude had changed. Once an open-borders advocate, she now “look[ed] around and f[ound] herself thinking: ‘What has happened to my little Sweden?’” Having formerly dismissed the goal of assimilation, she now recognized the folly of multiculturalism. Still, she didn’t want to complain too much, lest she be – horrors! – “linked to the Sweden Democrats,” the only political party in the country that actually calls a spade a spade.
- Finally, on August 24, 2022, I quoted from a sermon by Malmö imam Basem Mahmoud: “Sweden is ours. It’s ours, whether they like it or not. In ten to fifteen years, it will be ours.”
It’s hard to argue with Mahmoud. The numbers certainly don’t lie. In his above-quoted 2014 article, Fjordman pointed out that Malmö was “set to become the first Scandinavian town with a Muslim majority population.” He was right. While official figures – which don’t include Muslims living in the city illegally – suggest that the 50% point hasn’t yet been passed, sources that adjust for those illegals indicate that Malmö has been majority non-Swedish since 2015.
Even government statistics acknowledge that, in 2021, 58% of the babies in Malmö were born to immigrants and that, in 2022, 57.7% of Malmö men between the ages of 15 and 44 had foreign backgrounds. Indeed, Swedes are in the minority in Malmö in every age cohort except the over-60 crowd. And so many members of the non-Swedish majority live on the dole that Malmö survives economically only thanks to massive annual infusions from the national treasury.
As for crime, not only have the figures risen dramatically, but the very nature of the offenses has worsened; in the last year, Malmö has been beset by bombings, school murders, car burnings, and riots that have led observers to speak of “civil war.” Only a few days ago, on January 3, Hugh Fitzgerald cited here at FrontPage a news story from Malmö about five Muslim teenagers who are suspected of raping a Swedish woman in her twenties. A generation ago, such events were virtually unheard of in Malmö, or anywhere else in Sweden; now nobody’s taken aback by them anymore.
Now, in a new report sponsored by Malmö’s “Growth Commission,” Erica Righard, a Professor of Social Work at the University of Malmö professes to address the city’s demographic challenges. She uses the term “superdiversity,” which she defines as a situation in which a city’s population is characterized by “more and more countries of birth, nationalities, and ethnicities.”
In fact, while such a term may fairly describe a city like New York, whose residents come from dozens of different countries and have dozens of different mother tongues, the state of affairs in Malmö is far simpler: Swedes are giving way to Muslims, period. Yes there are Finns and Germans and so in Sweden. But that’s not the problem. The problem is Islam. And Sweden’s ever-rising Muslim population isn’t a question of “superdiversity.” No, it’s “the great replacement.”
Whatever name you put to it, however, Righard deftly uses Malmö’s minority-Swedish situation as an excuse to junk, once and for all, the goal of integration, at least as traditionally understood. To be sure, ever since Sweden began taking in Muslim immigrants in considerable numbers, its cultural elites have dismissed integration efforts as racist: newcomers, they’ve argued, should not only be allowed to keep their own languages and customs; they should be praised for having contributed these precious patrimonies to the glorious Swedish mosaic. In any event, the stark reality is that Muslims, by and large, have not integrated into Swedish society but have, rather, formed their own isolated sharia enclaves and, to a staggering extent, behaved toward the natives less like neighbors than like – well – predators.
Unsurprisingly, Righard pretty much ignores these inconvenient truths, choosing instead to engage in euphemism, circumlocution, and doubletalk, to speak of immigration in the abstract, and to serve up anecdotes about immigration (for example, about Uzbeks moving to Turkey) that have absolutely nothing to do with the situation in Sweden. And what she ultimately proffers is the pompous assertion that “on a comprehensive level, one can say that superdiversification as a perspective contributes here to the displacement of the very ontological basis for the study of language.” Meaning what? Meaning that there’s a need for “a transformation of how national belonging is understood.” And among much else, that “politicians must unlearn the habit of speaking about integration in a way that identifies certain groups and places as problems.”
In short, it’s not sufficient to “tolerate” the existence of foreign languages, religions, and cultural practices in Malmö; instead, they must be recognized by all and sundry not as foreign but as intrinsic and valuable aspects of the Malmö community, no less fundamental to the city’s identity than the Swedish language, the Lutheran faith, and Midsummer celebrations.
Since Muslims are the majority in Malmö, indeed, integration must be redefined: both Swedes and immigrants, Righard maintains, need to find their places in Malmö’s new, mostly non-Swedish urban reality. Which apparently means, among much else, that Muslim schoolchildren shouldn’t be expected to learn Swedish, but should instead receive instruction in their own languages.
All of which, as it happens, is pretty much what the smart set in Sweden have been saying all along, anyway: don’t push immigrants to assimilate; stay mum about Muslim crime, unemployment, and self-segregation; keep compromising, keep giving in, keep giving, and eventually it’ll all work itself out. Of course it’s become increasingly clear that the way this crisis will “work itself out” is through the transformation of Sweden into a far-north version of the Islamic world, funded not by oil revenues but by the taxes levied on an ever-dwindling native population.
This is, after all, why the Sweden Democrats keep gaining strength with every election. But academics like Erica Righard plainly see it as their job to double down on the same threadbare old mantras even as their country – with Malmö proudly in the lead – proves Michel Houellebecq’s case by tumbling steadily downhill from centuries of peace, prosperity, and glory into the slough of despond.