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The Seamy Side of Welfare Society: Sweden Gripped by Gangland Violence

As the result of an unparalleled influx of migrants and a ham-fisted integration policy, Sweden has witnessed a rapid growth of so-called "no-go zones," which are essentially blighted areas with high unemployment where ethnically non-Swedish gangs reign supreme.

Red cottages, Fjärdlång, Stockholm (Sweden) - Sputnik International
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In 1990, there were only three officially acknowledged "exclusion areas" in Sweden, whereas a 2014 survey compiled by anti-immigrant researcher and economist Tino Sanandaji, himself of Kurdish origin, showed that the number of 'parallel societies' has risen steadily and reached no less than 186.

"The situation in Sweden shows what a naive and goody-goody immigration policy can lead to," Norway's immigration and integration minister Sylvi Listhaug said, commenting on last week's incident, when a Norwegian TV crew topped by an experienced war correspondent was forced to flee one of Stockholm's migrant-dominated suburbs after being assaulted by young thugs.

"I think everyone who saw the report from Sweden on the evening news was stunned by the situation in our neighboring country," Sylvi Listhaug told Norwegian national broadcaster NRK earlier this week.

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Renowned Norwegian journalist Anders Magnus had previous reporting experience across Africa and the Middle East but was nevertheless shocked at having been attacked in his neighboring country.

"It was scary to be in Sweden for this mission. <…> It's like a war zone. It was a very unpleasant day on the job," he told the tabloid Verdens Gang.

The incident, which was captured on video, reminded the public of this year's assault on an Australian TV crew in Stockholm, when journalists were yet again forced to retreat from the dangerous outskirts of the Swedish capital.

A refugee looks through a window at the arrival centre for refugees near the town on Kirkenes in northern Norway - Sputnik International
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This is not the first time Listhaug, who has been a stalwart advocate of a more strenuous immigration policy, used Sweden as a somber reminder of what an open door policy towards migration from countries outside the developed world can lead to.

"Last year, over 160,000 asylum seekers came to Sweden. In Malmö, asylum seekers had to sleep on pieces of cardboard outdoors, in the biting winter cold. The whole system collapsed. Now, Sweden spends over 50 billion krona a year [6 billion dollars] to keep asylum seekers at bay. This exceeds the country's total defense outlay, and is more than what Swedes put into the police and the justice system," she wrote in a debate article in Dagbladet in April, trouncing Sweden's hamstrung integration policy.

Refugees sleep outside the entrance of the Swedish Migration Agency's arrival center for asylum seekers at Jagersro in Malmo, Sweden, November 20, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Meanwhile, even the Swedish police itself are forced to admit to being helpless to combat the lawlessness as areas where common law does not apply have been mushrooming around the capital city itself. Police inspector Lars Alvarsjö of the Stockholm police region told NRK that the authorities and community service workers are being given a harsh welcome in these areas, which are ruled by criminal gangs.

"We are often met by stone-throwing when we go out on patrol. The same happens with the rescue services such as firefighters or ambulances. They never go in without taking the police along, even if they are responding to an emergency," Alvarsjö said.

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Last, but not least, the numerous no-go zones threaten to tarnish Sweden's reputation for embracing gender equality, which it takes great pride in.

Nalin Pekgul, one of Sweden's most famous immigrants, a renowned women's rights activist and the first Muslim to be elected to the national legislature, resides in Tensta, a suburb of Stockholm which has fallen victim to ghettoization. According to her, in the evening, even parking attendants dare not impose fines, and women risk being harassed and spat upon. Today's Tensta is worse than Kurdistan was 50 years ago with respect to women's rights, she told NRK.

"The freedom my aunts had in Kurdistan in the 60s and 70s has become a pipe dream here in Sweden in 2016. They could dress as they pleased, whereas Tensta has an army of self-proclaimed "morality guardians" lurking around and spitting on girls going around in short skirts," Pekgul said.

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