The Feminist Initiative Party has stirred up emotions with its reply to the new nascent migrant crisis on Europe's borders.
In a clip spread virally on social media, Libyan-born party head Farida al-Abani addressed “millions” of migrants in Arabic and invited them to Sweden.
The video appears to be a reaction to national-conservative Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson, who recently distributed flyers on the Greek border informing migrants that “Sweden is full” and cannot provide them with money or housing. Al-Abani attempted to disprove this statement by calling the Sweden Democrats, Sweden's largest party, racists.
“Flights cost money and climate, and flyers also cost money and only reach a few. Luckily, I know Arabic and the fact that the web can reach millions. In short, I say 'A racist party spreads lies, don't listen to them, welcome here, we're not full”, al-Abani tweeted in a prelude to her video.
Flyg kostar pengar och klimat och flygblad kostar också pengar och når några få.— Farida al-Abani (@AAFarida) March 4, 2020
Tur att jag kan arabiska och att nätet kan nå miljontals.
kortfattat säger jag ”Ett rasistiska parti sprider lögner, lyssna inte på dem, välkomna hit, det är inte fullt”❤️
#welcometosweden #edirne pic.twitter.com/iMfEE8104B
In a related Facebook post, al-Abani contested that Sweden needed a repetition of the 2015 migrant crisis, when the Scandinavian nation of 10 million led the whole of Europe per capita by taking in 163,000 asylum seekers. The influx challenged Sweden's welfare system and left its mark on the Swedish economy and society at large. A 2018 study by economist Joakim Ruist estimated lifetime costs associated with a single immigrant at an average of SEK 3 million ($320,000), possibly higher for migrants from Afghanistan and Somalia.
“What Sweden needs is another 2015, and we need a policy that reflects the humanity we saw then. It's time for Sweden to return to permanent residence permits and it is time for us to open our borders before these growing barriers fall on us. Let's show what real responsibility looks like”, al-Albani wrote, using the hashtag “2015 again”.
On social media, the party's stance triggered mixed reactions.
“Capital idea! How many immigrants can you take care of in your apartment in Bromma?” one Twitter user smirked.
Bra initiativ! Hur många immigranter kan du ta hand om i din lägenhet i Bromma? 😊— 𝕐𝕒𝕪ℍ𝕠𝕣𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕖𝕤 (@YayHormones) March 5, 2020
“Sweden's granted 2.5 million residence permits since 1980. (Migration Board statistics). Decade after decade largest reception per inhabitant! There is no longer housing opportunities, jobs, or welfare resources. It is no longer possible. We can't handle the integration! Who benefits from Sweden being broken?” another one mused.
Sverige beviljat 2,5 mnr uppehållstillstånd sen 1980. (Migverk statistik) Årtionde efter årtionde störst mottagande per invånarantal!— Eva Marcusdotter (@evamarcus) March 5, 2020
Finns inte längre bostäder, jobb, välfärdsresurser.
Det går inte längre. Vi klarar inte integrationen!
Vem tjänar på att Sverige bryts sönder?
“Thank you for clearly showing that you are in solidarity with Arabs and other non-Europeans at the expense of Swedes!” another one tweeted.
Tack för att du så tydligt visar att du är solidarisk med araber och andra icke-europeer på svenskarnas bekostnad!— Svea Svensson 🇸🇪 (@svea_svensson) March 5, 2020
Formed by former Left Party leader Gudrun Schyman, Feminist Initiative enjoyed a brief period of media fame and even managed to win a single seat in the European Parliament, but has fallen back into obscurity in recent years, garnering a mere 0.4 percent of the vote in the 2018 election. The party fights for feminism, equality, and LGBT rights, embraces open-borders policy, and sees itself as a force against “institutional racism”. Its current slogan is “The Future is Pink”.
Thousands of migrants have gathered on the Turkish-Greek border since Turkish President Erdogan's message on 29 February to open the Turkish border for migrants. At the same time, Greek border police and military have been mobilised against the nascent crisis, which is widely seen as being a repetition of the 2015 disaster.