• Sweden edition
Sweden advances plan to combat extremism

Sweden advances plan to combat extremism

Published: 05 Aug 2011 08:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Aug 2011 08:02 GMT+02:00

The primary goal of the plan is the stop people from getting into a situation in which they resort to violence in the name of their political or religious beliefs.

The government is putting together its action plan with help from security service Säpo, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet – Brå), the National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan), the National Board of Youth Affairs (Ungdomsstyrelsen), and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR).

Justice minister Beatrice Ask will have responsibility for updating Sweden's national strategy for comnbatting terrorist threats, while democracy minister Birgitta Ohlsson will lead work on the anti-extremism action plan.

“The whole of Sweden is needed the common effort to protect our democracy,” writes prime minister Fredrick Reinfeldt and the two other ministers in an opinion article published Friday in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper outlining progress on the action plan.

Efforts to put together an action plan against extremism began six months ago in the wake of December's suicide bombing in Stockholm.

According to the ministers, the three extremist environments on which the plan's efforts will be concentrated are the white power movement, the autonomous left, and violent Islamism.

According to Säpo and Brå, the movements haven't expanded in recent years. However, there is believed to be a risk that ever-smaller factions with especially violent individuals could carry out serious acts, write the three.

“We don't know how tomorrow's extremism will look. An extremist movement which expands and gets more followers can result in the nourishment of these extreme political views,” write the ministers.

“Therefore it's important that fundamentalism and extremism in all its forms are met with strength and that the violent message is deconstructed.”

They also state that nationalist and racist parties have advanced their views and that, according to the Forum of Living History (Forum för levande historia), around 20 percent of high school students in Sweden have clearly intolerant attitudes toward Jews, Roma, Muslims, gays, and immigrants.

According to the ministers, individuals who are attracted to such anti-democratic messages need to be the focus of preventative measures that accompany the new action plan.

"We must accept and affirm diversity but with a core of common democratic values" write Ohlsson, Ask, and Reinfeldt.

"Values which are based on universal human rights."

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

09:25 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
The problem in Sweden is that most of what comes from Stockholm is ideology based.

They need to tackle, left wing, centrist, right wing, single issue and religious extremists equally.

They need to stop ignoring that the authorities in Sweden have been part of the problem.

They need to discuss every issue including religious extremism, right wing extremism, left wing extremism, immigration problems, intolerance of sexual minorities, deliberate creation fo immigrant ghetto's, lack of jobs, lack of social mobility and lack of social integration of Swedes with non-Swedes.

A bit of honesty about all the subjects instead of ignoring every problem would go a long way to tackling a lot of the issues.

Unfortunately being Sweden, everyone will stick there head in the sand and hope the problems go away, while they fester.

That is the biggest problem os all, Swedes refusal to accept the reality of any problems.
09:41 August 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
It was about time. I hope it is not too late and the the authorities take the danger seriously.

If what happened in Norway is the detonator for the plan discussed, I hope they take really into consideration what Nemesis is writing:

"They need to discuss every issue including religious extremism, right wing extremism, left wing extremism, immigration problems, intolerance of sexual minorities, deliberate creation fo immigrant ghetto's, lack of jobs, lack of social mobility and lack of social integration of Swedes with non-Swedes."

Forget the perennial motto of "Nothing happens in Sweden", because, yes, it has happened in Sweden and will continue happening in Sweden.

The government has the obligation to protect everybody who lives in this beautiful country. If not, well, if not, who knows what will happen.
09:58 August 5, 2011 by Iraniboy
This is very good! I partly disagree with Nemesis and JL over Sweden's response to these problems. These problems exist in all European countries and some of them including the UK, Netherlands, Italy and France discuss them all the time but they never solve it. But in Sweden political establishment especially those in the middle (exept the SD and lefts) believe in actions more than blaming and endless useless discussions. What Swedish government has started is exactly the solution. The solution is not spreading fear, anger and hatred as it is done the US UK and other European countries to gain political advantage!
10:46 August 5, 2011 by lovedealer76
well said Iraniboy and the others above all are good points
10:53 August 5, 2011 by conboy
They are going to inagurate a new committee HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA -

The neo.nazis and jihadists are really going to sh#t themselves now.
11:11 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Iraniboy

As a matter of interest what do you disagree with that I said?
11:25 August 5, 2011 by Iraniboy

The part that you suggest them to discuss these issues more. I guess we have seen that discussing these matters will only help to gain political advantage. Instead they need silent actions and we all know that actions involves cooperation between intelligence agenices and other agencies resposible for target groups. Swedes don't stick their head under the soil. They avoid rush response. Instead they ACT in time while nobody is listening/looking at them! This is the best solution to gain maximum effect without making more enemy without spreading fear.
11:40 August 5, 2011 by johnny1939
Live and let live and use your common sense and compassion and all will be well but I guess, that is to much to ask so we need a bunch of new laws and restrictions + interference in our personal lives.
12:32 August 5, 2011 by calebian22

Like them or hate them, the fact that SD is in the Riksdag is the ONLY reason there is a smattering of discussion about immigration at all. Discussing the problems solves the problems. I wonder why you don't want a solution?
14:28 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Iraniboy

You are just plain wrong.

The problem has been is not and likely to be for the near future that the issues are not being opnely and honestly discussed at all.

There has been terrorist, extremist and bigotted problems arising from left, centrist, right, single issue and religious extremists in Sweden. None of that is discussed openly or honestly.

@ calebian22

The Sweden Democrats only want to discuss islamic extremism and not other forms of extremism. At least they have raised one form of extremism, I will give them that, but it is only because of there bigotry towards that group, that they have raised that group at all.

If any political party in Sweden was honest in any way they would raise left wing, centrist, right wing, single issue and religious extremism as one package, refusing to see a difference between any of them.

All extremists are the same. They attack a minority and make into pariahs of certain groups that they do not like. It does not matter what there intial target is, the result is always the same across the board if they ever get power, mayhem and chaos, starting with the group they blamed and then quickly spreading to the rest of the population.

Extremists of all persuasions need to be faced down, no matter how inconvenient it is for who is in charge.
15:15 August 5, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Just be careful of "ANY" governments plans to control anyone at anytime.

A tragedy can/will always be use as an excuse to gain more control over "ANY" population.

Who decides to control who?

After 9/11 the US government wanted post office employees to report on people on their delivery route.

What if he/she did not like "YOU"?
15:37 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Gamla Hälsingebock

There is a lot of difference between European governments and the USA.

Anything that is over the top in legislation will be struck down by the european courts.
15:38 August 5, 2011 by Streja
Nem, these issues have been discussed A LOT in Sweden. I know because I have been a part of it ever since I was in school. Sorry but on that you are wrong.

I agree with Iraniboy that action is what is needed. I agree with you that all the extremist wings should be tackled.
16:17 August 5, 2011 by Iraniboy

Look at caleb! He is a tip of the iceberg. I believe that discussing about other groups never ever help problems. You can discuss about criminals, teororists,...since nobody find themselves related to them even if they are actually criminal! But if you try to discuss right wing or left wing or religous extremism then you are automatically including a lot of people who are just a little leanign toward left or right or a little religious. Then you end up with a lot of fronts and poeple who try to defend themselves.

As an analogy I make an example. We all know many teeangers are overactive and they may do stupid things due to their age, hormones etc. Now tell me what those overactive or even ordinary teenagers react if you tell them they may do stupid things? I guess even those ordinary teens will find themselves in a defensive manner! So the only solution is that you recognise those overactive teens and try to predict and control them from doing stupid things rather than talking to all of them and putting all of them in defensive situation!
16:45 August 5, 2011 by DMEricson
I have an idea for combating extremism: stop importing huge numbers of Muslims and other unassimilable aliens from around the world in a misguided attempt to set up a utopia according to a false (liberal) ideology. All at once you wouldn't have violent outsiders and violent natives reacting to them. Problem solved. Just a thought.
17:17 August 5, 2011 by scrawler
Comment: Change is expected in the policies of government but greater margin of change should from the people who has greater amount of an animosity with pious person. It is an unavoidable fact that major of immigrants are isolated from the society. There was one incidence I want to say. I was reading news in periodical about brutal assault of young student at rural areas suddenly my Swedish friend. His first word is this was done by non Swedes, He never believed that was carried out by a Swedish person. His mindset is *Crime in Sweden = Immigrants*. wtafw? Then next day it came in news about the accomplishment of the person alleged in an assault. After that also he is asking me how white is he? He argued that person can't be a pure Swede. I asked the one question to stop his imprudent behavior. I was watching the entire series of sex and the city that means all American wives are like that? From Julian Assange, it's clear that if you talk to some Swedish girls no wonder she may file a case for rape charges just for talking. Is this logic is correct? When you search about the Sweden in internet and according to media first think cached is homosexuality so if i consider that all people are homos? Is this logic is correct. ? Stop being so ill, Cure the disease in your mind first. Lover others! Stop hating immigrants
17:18 August 5, 2011 by Streja
DMEricson, can we deport you first? I mean you sound so extreme in your views.
17:35 August 5, 2011 by scrawler
According to DMEricsson its advisable to import Christians, Jews, Hindus , Buddhist so on...! I will completely agree with Streja
17:56 August 5, 2011 by zoroastrina
DMEricson makes me puke. I love Iranboy. I am an atheistic Buddhist and a Trotzkyist supporter of the principles of the Fourth Socialist International, which will not endear me to most of you. And I am very fond of my Muslim friends. The laws against the burka or niqab in France and Belgium are fascistic.

I like scrawler who scrawls and scribbles extremely intelligently and thoughtfully. Bless the scrawler. That 20 percent of Swedish high school students are bloody-minded racists is staggering and frightening.
18:16 August 5, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Streja,

Where is anyone discussing violence and extremist activities from left wing, centrist, rights wing, single issue and religious as one single issue in Sweden?

In Sweden all I have seen is left of center to far left blame the right for everything and right of center and far right blaming everything on the left.

Please show me evidence of the political class progressing beyond the blame game in Sweden.

Thats the problem for everything and refuse to accept responsibility for any of there own actions.

They blame each other and refuse to admit the problem is right across the board. That is why no real tangiable action has been taken to tackle extremism in Sweden. All the political parties of all kinds without exception in Sweden, are all partly to blame. They need to accept that before even starting to tackle the problem.

The whole attitiude that certain groups engaged in terrorism in various parts of the planet are cool is all the way right through Swedish. An example is the numerous occassions people have started to talk to me about how wonderful the IRA is when they find out I am from Northern Ireland. They seem to think slaughter and mayhem is wonderful. I have heard that from SFI teachers, a person in the Skat office, a nurse in hospital let alone those I have encountered socially. Most are not to happy when corrected about there support for a murderous mindset. People I have been at SFI with have talked to me about occassions that SFI teachers and others from Sweden have talked to them about terrorist groups from there various countries as though they are cool. Some of those groups are the nutjobs the people in SFI fled from in the first place. There is an entire mindset in Sweden amongst lots of people in various political parties, that violence by terrorist groups in other countries is cool. The whole mindset of detachment in Sweden, needs to be tackled.

I watched over the last four years the lunacy in Malmö. The violence from far left and islamic towards jews also includes some elements from the social democrats. I have watched in some kommunes in Skåne as people have went from being social democrat members/activists to being sweden democrat members/activists. No one wants to admit that sweden democrats are mostly former social democrats. No one talks about how some of the islamics run the ghettos with an iron fist.

That is the root of the problem in Sweden. No one admits anything is a problem and always blames an external factor.

Until Swedes look in the mirror, extremism will only fester.
18:25 August 5, 2011 by conboy
Streja your IRA analogy hit the spot perfectly many Swedes who speak in support of their actions would vote for left of centre and even right wing parties here. Sinn Fein are a left leaning political party weighed down by a background of involvement in sectarian and unacceptable violence as well as actual legitimate violence against an oppressive occupying military force the latter does not excuse the former. Swedes attitude to immigrants remains very strange when compared with the attitudes of Irish and British people to immigration generally. Paradoxically people generally in Britain and Ireland despite the local difficulties are apparently far more tolerant to immigration than Swedes. However there is no willingness here to look at the issue whatsoever.
19:48 August 5, 2011 by Streja
I didn't mention the IRA...?

Nem, when did you move to Sweden? because believe me discussion has been taking place for a long time, and do you know what the statistics say on extremism in Sweden? I'm tired of discussing and not getting anywhere. SÄPO now needs to ACT.
20:42 August 5, 2011 by calebian22

SD is not bigoted. They are intolerant of an intolerant group. There is a difference.

I would argue that Islamist extremism is the biggest extremist threat in the West today. When you read about terrorism in the newspaper, who is doing it? Seriously, who? Is it environmental hippie morons burning SUV's? Occasionally. Is it Christian extremists murdering abortion doctors in the US? Rarely. Is it neo-nazis beating up dark skinned people? Occasionally. Is it a Christian nut job murdering kids in Norway. Sadly, one time.

Which is the extremist group is in the news? Islamists. Which group of extremists if not in the news blowing something up are in the news extorting others to blow something up? Islamists. I have no problem with dealing with violent extremists as they are found, but start with the most problematic ones. Going after the small ones, that rarely make the news due to their generally insignificant actions, is a cop out. Deal with the big problem at hand. Until SD made it into the political debate in Sweden everyone ignored the problems of the New Swede community. That is changing, thankfully and finally.

As for Iraniboy, he is so far left, everyone else is right.
23:12 August 5, 2011 by Streja
I can assure you that there are not 350 000 potato sacks walking around in Sweden.
23:55 August 5, 2011 by gh2008
@Petro Mellet,

so i look like a potato sack? no wonder people wink each other when they see me walk the streets! well its all good, since i don't have to tan ;)

let me quote the europol here on Islamist Terrorism:

"In spite of the fact that only one attack was committed in the EU, Islamist terrorists still aim to cause mass casualties, as demonstrated by the attempt to create an explosion on a fl ight between Amsterdam and Detroit in December 2009."


although this was the EU terrorism situation and trends in 2010, but hey ;)

also on the same link you find pretty much useful stats that might help you seeing me just as normal human as any other.
00:07 August 6, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock

All right boyo!..."actual legitimate violence"

Up the Republic!

One man's terrorist is another's patriot.

Unfortunately the lads that say "No surrender" feel the same way.

"actual legitimate violence" works for both sides(I

know you don't agree)and has caused much pain for a lot of good Irish people.

I am not taking sides, my late South Armagh wife told me a lot of stories, and they were very sad to hear.

Is any violence acceptable?
08:56 August 6, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
@conboy # 5

The new committee wil be led by Maud Olofsson, as soon as she stops crying. Ha, ha, ha, ha, jo, jo, jo, jo.

@ the majority

Let us stop importing foreigners, including Swedes and the problem will be solved once and for all.

Those who do not see the danger of an Europe becoming more and more an Eurabia, are just blind. Just ask the French in Marseilles and the Dutch in Rotterdam.

Those who said that there must be action and less bla, bla, bla, are completely right.

Let us stop building committees, commissions, groups, whatever to solve a huge problem like the one discussed in this thread.

Let them discuss how ants have more ants and why rabbits follow the Fibonacci progression on numbers, you know, the 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc, etc. to make more rabbits.

Let us put our feet on the ground and face the horrible truth: Sweden and more European countries will be engulfed, not by the Islamic religion, but by the Islamic desire to control the world. Islamism has tried that for centuries. It has been defeated at the battle fields over and over again, but now, well, you all know damn well what is happening.

Fortunately, I will not witness the debacle, because my train is about to stop.
12:29 August 6, 2011 by conboy
The point I was making and Streja you did ment ion the IRA is the first departure for a society descending into violence is (a) an unwillingness to listen to those who do not agree with you and (b) a shared community view that one's own community exclusively retains universal truths and greviances which exceed that of your opponents or those who do not agree with your percieved sense of community. John Hume pointed out that no one had a monopoly on suffering or certitude in any way and there under these premise the Belfast Agreement emerged. Now in Scandinavia and in Sweden witchdoctors and lazy intellectually challenged keyboard warriors are increasingly adding to conditions where unstable people like Breivik feel enabled and justified in taking peoples lives. They Ausonius, the Malmö shooter and Breivik are qiute simply the inevitable fall out of the political legitimacy bequeathed by a stupid and lazy electorate to parties like New Democracy, the SD and the Future Party in Norway. Now thats what I was talking about.
15:54 August 6, 2011 by Nemesis
@ conboy

Streja did not mention the IRA.

It was me who mentioned the IRA in comment 20 when I was replying to Streja.

@ calebian22

The Sweden Democrats are not only opposed to Islam.

Read what they say about US influence. They want rid of US citizens such as yourself.
01:45 August 7, 2011 by Njal
The problem has been/is/hopefully will not be in the future: immigration. Until Western nations the world over address this problem, it just won't go away. No immigration from muslim lands/africa, they just have no business in Sweden, or any other Western country.
11:08 August 7, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
01:45 August 7, 2011 by Njal

Tell that to their governments. It will come a time when they will regret the destruction they and only they, have been provoking. We shall see what we shall see.

In the name of integration, some cities in Sweden are called "The little Baghdad".
Today's headlines
Sweden earthquake 'was strongest in 100 years'
The town of Mora, near where the earthquake hit. Photo: Shutterstock

Sweden earthquake 'was strongest in 100 years'

An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale shook parts of central Sweden on Monday. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven rules out making government with the Left
Left Party leader Jonas Sjöstedt. Photo: TT

Löfven rules out making government with the Left

Election winner Stefan Löfven announced on Monday that he would not form a government with the Left Party, a move that party's leader called a "huge mistake". READ  

Elections 2014
Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven
Stefan Löfven: a man with a lot on his plate. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT

Six big headaches for Stefan Löfven

Stefan Löfven has started talks to form a new government, but the former welder faces huge challenges in bringing together an administration that will work. The Local explains why. READ  

Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

Microsoft to buy Swedish Minecraft makers

UPDATED: Microsoft announced on Monday that it was buying Swedish company Mojang, which was behind the hit game Minecraft, for $2.5 billion (17.9 billion kronor). READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... Starting a business in Stockholm
A business meeting in Stockholm. Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden

Introducing... Starting a business in Stockholm

Does the dream of your very own business in Stockholm seem unattainable? It may be much, much closer than you think. Stockholm is the largest city in Scandinavia - and its possibilities are endless. READ  

Elections 2014
Election puts economy in 'fog of uncertainty'
Maria Rankka, head of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, is worried about restrictions on foreign workers coming to Sweden. File photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD /TT

Election puts economy in 'fog of uncertainty'

Sweden’s currency took a hit and business leaders warned of a rocky road ahead as the country awoke on Monday to the prospect of a left-led government for the first time in eight years. READ  

My Swedish Career
How I became a surf blogger in Sweden
John Brodie's back. Photo: Private

How I became a surf blogger in Sweden

Surf's up with The Local's Swedish Career chat this week. We've taken a turn from the norm and talked to John Brodie who's kicking off what looks like a promising career in surf writing. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden's Prime Minister and Finance Minister quit
Reinfeldt hands his resignation to speaker Per Westerberg. Photo: TT

Sweden's Prime Minister and Finance Minister quit

Outgoing Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has handed in his resignation after his right-wing Alliance was defeated at the polls on Sunday. His Finance Minister Anders Borg has announced he is leaving politics too. READ  

How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson celebrates in Stockholm. Photo: TT

How Sweden Democrats went mainstream

The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats have become the third largest party in a country famous for its egalitarian ideals. The Local's Maddy Savage explores the reasons for their success. READ  

Elections 2014
ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis

The Local blogged live throughout Sunday night as our reporters watched Reinfeldt resign as prime minister, Löfven declare he was ready to lead the red-greens and the Sweden Democrats celebrate becoming Sweden's third largest party. READ  

Business & Money
How to start a business in Stockholm
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
People-watching: September 13th
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
People-watching: September 11th
Blog updates

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »


12 September

EU sanctions: necessary, effective and timely (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Regular readers of this blog know I’ve written about the Russia-Ukraine crisis here. Today I’ve chosen to share an article by the UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington, with my readers: This week the European Union imposed further sanctions on Russia. This decision followed months of destabilisation of Ukraine by Russia, and months of political..." READ »

People-watching: September 13th
Five possible election outcomes
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Sweden elections: Who's who?
What's on in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Feminists fight for first seats
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.