• 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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

989
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
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.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN