Sweden’s Accelerated Cultural Evolution

Sweden flagOf countries gradually transitioning culturally by immigration, Sweden is undergoing one of the most rapid transitions.

It’s a small country – just under 10 million in population – but it takes in more asylum seekers than European countries many times its size. In 2013 it accepted about 55,000 asylum seekers, many if not most from Syria. Germany took in about twice as many but its population is 80 million, so it arguably can better absorb such seekers than Sweden.

On a per-capita basis, Sweden is welcoming by far the most asylum seekers: 5,700 per 1 million inhabitants, almost five times as many as Germany. In 2013, Sweden accepted almost 20 percent of the EU’s asylum seekers – more than any other EU country. That’s amazing, considering Sweden’s small size.

Sweden’s foreign-born population was 16 percent in 2013, and including those born to two immigrant parents, it’s 21 percent of the total. The Muslim population is said to be around 10 percent. And rising fast.

This obviously has huge implications for Sweden’s cultural, political, and economic destiny, which could fill books. Here, suffice it to point out an interesting observation gleaned from an account by Theo Padnos, an American journalist who spent two years imprisoned by Islamic militants in Syria. His captors were brutal and sadistic, as you can read here. Yet it could be that some brutal and sadistic persons have made their way or are trying to make their way to Sweden, through its liberal asylum system. Writes Padnos,

That night as we finished Abu Farouk’s watermelon and were gazing up at the stars, I listened to the fighters musing about their futures. “Hey, Abu Petra,” they asked me, “what is Sweden like?” If they were to present themselves as Syrian dissidents to the authorities, what would happen next? Was I familiar with the procedures in Sweden for seeking political asylum? And what about Berlin, supposing they found their way to Germany?

One wonders how many of Sweden’s immigrants share the mindset of those fighters.

Padnos also sheds light on the phenomenon of European Muslims going to Syria and Iraq to join the fight. It’s not so much because Islamic militants there need the help. It’s because they want to instill in European Muslims the jihad mentality, so that they can go back home to Europe and teach the values of fundamentalist Islam to others in Europe. Padnos again:

The Nusra Front higher-ups were inviting Westerners to the jihad in Syria not so much because they needed more foot soldiers — they didn’t — but because they want to teach the Westerners to take the struggle into every neighborhood and subway station back home. They want these Westerners to train their 8-year-olds to do the same. Over time, they said, the jihadists would carve mini-Islamic emirates out of the Western countries, as the Islamic State had done in Syria and Iraq. There, Western Muslims would at last live with dignity, under a true Quranic dispensation.

Hundreds of years ago, Muslims staked a claim in parts of Europe suddenly and militarily. Now, thanks to the niceness of Swedes and other European peoples, they’re doing it gradually and peacefully.

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