• Sweden edition
 
Swedes in uproar over 'xenophobic' book ad
A picture of the DN advert that some labelled as xenophobic. Photo: TT

Swedes in uproar over 'xenophobic' book ad

Published: 09 Dec 2013 16:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Dec 2013 16:48 GMT+01:00

“The advert’s design expresses a reluctance and a resistance to that which is perceived as different and the ad is therefore xenophobic,” political scientist Ulf Bjereld said on his blog on Sunday.

The book’s co-author Karl-Ove Arnstberg meanwhile dismissed criticism of the advert on Monday.

“It is just the chattering classes. They make a lot of noise and say what they want but they won’t sit down and read a 400 page book,” he told The Local.

The advert is for a book entitled “Immigration and blackout” (Invandring och mörkläggning) and is written and published by Arnstberg and Gunnar Sandelin. The advert in question was a full-page spread in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) broadsheet on Sunday and features a list of statistics.

The list included information from Statistics Sweden (SCB), the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) and a few other public bodies.

Both Sandelin and Arnstberg are established voices among those critical of multiculturalism and Swedish immigration policy and their book has been warmly received on extremist websites and by far-right bloggers in Sweden.

The second contention of their book - that the mainstream media operates a blackout around the issue of immigration and that “uncomfortable statistics” are subsequently buried is furthermore a common argument forwarded by followers of the Sweden Democrats and the extreme right in Sweden.

High-profile journalist Helle Klein called on DN to apologize for its decision to run the ad on Sunday and several other critics argued that the newspaper was guilty of spreading right-wing populist propaganda and pushing the boundaries of public discourse. Political scientist Andreas Johansson Heinö meanwhile argued that the ad was not out of the ordinary.

"In my opinion (the advert) is not xenophobic and I don't see a shift in the public discourse," he told The Local.

DN editor-in-chief Peter Wolodarski explained the newspaper’s reasoning in an article published online later on Sunday in which he defended the decision to publish in the interest of freedom of speech.

“We have gone through the allegations made in the ad, not to give the green light to what is claimed, but in order to make an overall assessment. The tone is insidious and there are a number of borderline dubious issues ... But I decided that it was within the bounds of what a commentator should be able to raise,” he said.

Wolodarski exemplified his reservations by referring to the fact that Sweden had approved 1.1 million residence permits to immigrants from 2000 to October 2013 observing that no distinction was made between permanent or temporary residence permits or the fact that many of the permits would have been renewals.

When challenged on the statistic, Karl-Ove Arnstberg declined to answer and terminated the phone call. 

According to an article in the media trade publication Medievärlden, publishers around Sweden expressed both support and disagreement with Dagens Nyheter’s decision to run the advert.

“We probably would have published… We don’t prevent someone expressing their opinions or arguing their case solely because the views are different from the paper's opinion. This applies to advertisements as well as opinion pieces, letters to the editor and columns,” said Cecilia Krönlein at the Göteborgs-Posten daily to Medievärlden.

“No, we wouldn’t have published it in Värmlands Folkblad. We would… have come to the conclusion that it lacks nuance and contains too many factual errors. It also runs contrary to the values which our owners support,” said the newspaper’s publisher Peter Franke.

The Local’s Managing Editor James Savage explained that the advert would probably have been run on the company’s websites, explaining that the advert was not “threatening”.

“We wouldn't accept ads that were threatening or that expressed an extremist point of view. This ad is neither threatening nor extremist. We're not in the business of second-guessing every ad's purpose,” he said.

Karl-Ove Arnstberg stated that the book and the advert were financed by the authors themselves and were not part of some “hidden agenda”. He explained that he was surprised, but satisfied, with the reaction to the advert and claimed that the book’s sales had increased on Monday.

“Our purpose was to attract attention," he told The Local.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake

A boy scheduled to be vaccinated against mumps, measles, and rubella instead received a vaccine against cervical cancer. His family has now reported the blunder for inspection. READ  

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency
Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency

The Swedish government has announced that it will increase funding to the jobs agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) in 2015, primarily to cover personnel costs but also to prevent long-term unemployment. READ  

Police 'powerless' against street racers
Police on E4 highway. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police 'powerless' against street racers

Stockholm police said they were powerless to react when streetracers took over at "insane speeds" on a large highway on Friday night. READ  

Saab carmaker wins receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker wins receivership

After initial rejection, a Chinese-owned company set up to take over Saab's assets after the troubled Swedish carmaker's bankruptcy said on Friday it had succeeded in being placed in receivership. READ  

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/TT

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth

A 30-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest while giving birth at a Stockholm clinic - without hospital staff noticing that anything was wrong. She remains in a critical condition on Friday. READ  

Champions League
History repeats for Malmö fifty years later
Striker Magnus Eriksson during Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

History repeats for Malmö fifty years later

Malmö's entry into the Champions League serves as a reminder of times gone by in European football. With Spain's champions bound for Sweden things just couldn't be better, writes contributor Lee Roden. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes

Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven announced on Friday his "most important election promise", a 90-day job guarantee programme for young Swedes. READ  

 Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout
The Jas Gripen fighter aircraft. File photo: Wikimedia

Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout

Sweden said Friday it would go ahead with the purchase of a new generation of Saab Gripen fighter jets, despite Switzerland pulling out of a major co-financing deal. READ  

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
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

770
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:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se