Swedish Authorities Targeted by Arabic Social Media Over 'Kidnapping' of Muslim Children

© Photo : Pixabay / Swedish parliament
Swedish parliament - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.02.2022
Each year, approximately 8,000 children in Sweden are taken care of by the social services, with immigrant families admittedly running a higher risk.
An excessive campaign with threats and misinformation against the Swedish government over the alleged "kidnapping" of Muslim children has been launched on Arabic social media, the Nordic country's authorities have reported.
According to the Swedish Agency for Psychological Defence, the campaign is extensive and features threats of violence and terrorist acts in the comments fields.
The campaign reportedly started at the end of December on Arabic-speaking channels totalling millions of followers. According to the authorities, the idea is to diminish Sweden and paint it in a negative light.

"These are channels with up to 17 million followers, and the spread is potentially much greater than the entire Swedish population", Mikael Tofvesson, operations manager at the Swedish Agency for Psychological Defence, told national broadcaster SVT.

Since then both Swedish municipalities and social services have been attacked by accounts linked to violent Islamist organisations that claim that Swedish authorities have been "kidnapping" Muslim children from their parents.
Municipalities and authorities throughout Sweden have been alerted about the ongoing campaign. The Swedish Agency for Psychological Defence has launched measures in cooperation with certain authorities to respond to the campaign, without going into detail.
Per the agency, the masterminds behind the campaign are adapting to the measures. Since the Swedish Institute, a state-funded agency that promotes the image of Sweden abroad, responded to the spread of false information in Arabic-speaking media, the messaging has become more serious, and the campaign has grown in strength.
The national broadcaster, SVT, described "fake" films about crying children who claim to have been kidnapped by the Swedish authorities as the core of the campaign. According to Tofvesson of the Swedish Agency for Psychological Defence, there have been false interpretations of cases where children were taken care of in accordance with the law or the police had to intervene.
At the same time, about a hundred Muslim parents who had their children forcibly taken care of by the social services held a demonstration outside the Swedish Parliament on Monday, the news outlet Fria Tider reported.
The participants reportedly chanted "We want our children back", yet emphasised that they were peaceful and distanced themselves from the threats on social media.
Each year, approximately 8,000 children in Sweden are taken care of by the nation's social services. A special legal provision is applied when voluntary efforts are not possible. In late 2021, Swedish Radio reported that children of immigrants run a higher risk of being taken care of by social services.
In recent years, a series of protests across the globe has been held against Norway's Child Welfare Services (Barnevernet) for the "legal abduction" of children. Critics lash out against the policy of "baselessly" taking children away from families seen as problematic, accusing the authorities of running a profitable business. Dozens of cases are being studied by the European Court of Human Rights.
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