02:54 GMT16 May 2021
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    The head of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has warned that the refugee crisis in Europe will lead to rifts in society and the rise of far-right groups, because of the consequences of a large number of refugees coming from Muslim countries.

    PST chief Marie Benedicte Bjørnland — who is known to be a plain speaker on such matters — was addressing a security conference in the Swedish ski resort town of Sälen, where the New Years' Eve assaults in Cologne were discussed.

    A man holds up a sign reading No violence against women as he takes part in a demonstration in front of the cathedral in Cologne, western Germany, on January 9, 2015 where sexual assaults in a crowd of migrants took place on New Year's Eve
    © AFP 2021 / Roberto Pfeil
    A man holds up a sign reading "No violence against women" as he takes part in a demonstration in front of the cathedral in Cologne, western Germany, on January 9, 2015 where sexual assaults in a crowd of migrants took place on New Year's Eve

    German authorities are investigating around 500 complaints over sex attacks that took place in Cologne on New Year's Eve — involving men of Arab or North African appearance.

    There was outrage when in emerged that hundreds of women at Cologne rail station has been subjected to a series of sex assaults, molestation, lewd comments and behavior as well as robbery, during chaotic scenes on New Year's Eve.

    In Norway, police are working with their Swedish colleagues as they investigate allegations about a string of sexual attacks carried out by Afghan refugees at a Stockholm music festival, which some say have been covered up by the authorities.

    "A strong increase in immigration, particularly from Muslim countries, can cause other long-term challenges. When a large number of asylum seekers come to a local community, it can have unfortunate consequences," Bjørnland told delegates.

    "One cannot take for granted that new population groups will automatically adapt the norms and rules of the Norwegian society," she added.

    Sex Lessons

    Bjørnland went on to tell broadcaster TV2 that accepting large numbers of foreigners can lead to violent clashes and the growth of far-right extremist groups.

    "If in the long term, you see a growth of parallel societies, radicalization and extremist environments, then we will have challenges as a security agency," she said.

    Norway runs courses for male refugees about Norwegian sexual norms and laws, to help them adapt to a country where women have greater freedoms, wear fewer clothes and walk alone in public. The course explains that some sexual practices deemed 'honorable' in some Middle East and North African countries are not acceptable in the West. The course manual states:

    "To force someone into sex is not permitted in Norway, even when you are married to that person."

    Norway has also kept strict control over migrants reaching its borders, deporting 7825 people out of the country in 2015, an all-time record.

    Related:

    Norway Deports Record 7,800 Asylum Seekers in 2015 - Immigration Service
    'One of Europe's Toughest': Norway's New 'No Visa, No Entry' Asylum Policy
    Gender Equality Lessons: Europe Teaches Refugees How to Treat Women
    Tags:
    migrant crisis, sex assault, investigation, society, police, refugees, culture, Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), Norway, Europe
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