In February of last year, at CPAC, President Trump linked mass Muslim immigration to an increase in crime in Sweden. The New York Times, in an article called “From an Anchor’s Lips to Trump’s Ears to Sweden’s Disbelief,” ridiculed Trump for getting his information from television (a report on Tucker Carlson’s program) and suggested that Trump was misinformed.
It also criticized Trump for “start[ing] a dispute with a longtime American friend that resented his characterization and called it false.” The Times sniffed that “the president’s only discernible goal was to make the case domestically for his plans to restrict entry to the United States.” The Times seemed to believe that making this case was somehow out-of-bounds
A year later, though, the New York Times has reported the problem Trump described. Will Racke of the Daily Caller informs us that today the Times published a piece on Sweden’s growing problem with immigrant gangs. The Times’report examines how weapons of war and clan-like violence have accompanied an influx of immigrants from certain parts of Europe and the greater Middle East.
According to the Times, there have been more than 100 incidents involving military-grade explosives in the Stockholm metro area that police have attributed to an “arms race” among immigrant gangs. There were only a few such incidents in Sweden until 2014, but since then, the number of explosions and seizures of grenades has shot up and remained worryingly high.
Note that the trend the Times describes began in 2014. Trump discussed the problem of immigrant violence in 2017. He wasn’t premature, the Times is late.
The Times is “circumspect” (to use Racke’s word) about attributing the violence to Muslims. However, Sweden’s spike in gang violence and certain categories of crime coincided with the resettlement of more than 100,000 asylum seekers from predominantly Muslim nations beginning in 2014, says Racke.
Rape is one of the crimes that has skyrocketed, government statistics show. Racke reports:
The percentage of women who reported being victims of sex crimes rose from 1.4 percent in 2012 to 4.1 percent in 2016. And a 2014 study on the geography of outdoor rape in Stockholm found two-thirds of the suspects were non-Swedish citizens, according to Sunday Times correspondent Bojan Pancevski, who has reported extensively from Sweden’s immigrant communities.
The Swedish government tries to suppress the link between Muslim immigration and serious crime, which is why it was vexed when Trump correctly pointed to the connection. A veteran police officer was investigated in 2017 for inciting racial hatred after he wrote a popular Facebook post listing the national origins of the people he was investigating for violent crimes.
Trump, though, was under no obligation to copy Sweden’s willful blindness. If anything, his obligation is to speak candidly about the consequences to public safety of an immigration policy that some in the U.S. are advocating.
The New York Times was wrong to ridicule Trump for doing so last year. I’m glad the Times is no longer averting its eyes from the phenomenon Trump described, but it should be more candid in its description.