• Sweden edition
 
Foreign-born Swedes join anti-immigration party
Nima Gholam Ali Pour. File photo: Private

Foreign-born Swedes join anti-immigration party

Published: 13 Dec 2013 07:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Dec 2013 07:48 GMT+01:00

Men with roots outside of Sweden are increasingly attracted to the tough migration stance of the minority Sweden Democrat party, with one new Persian-Swedish member telling The Local why he decided to join.

Nima Gholam Ali Pour is at a meeting with his new party colleagues in Malmö but steps outside to speak with The Local. He joined in November, after spending months in self-imposed political party isolation.

He left the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, in protest after the election of Islamic Association chair Omar Mustafa to a top-tier position. Mustafa was later forced to resign, but Gholam Ali Pour, a frequent blogger and commenter whose work has appeared on The Local, was about to set his sights on the Sweden Democrats. 

"Nobody else wants to talk about immigration and culture clashes," he tells the Local. "I basically joined a party that does talk about it."

Sveriges Radio journalist Zinat Hashemi on Thursday revealed that Gholam Ali Pour is far from alone. Among men with roots outside Europe, 7.4 percent said they sympathized with the Sweden Democrats. The data came from Statistics Sweden (SCB), the country's official statistics agency, and while far from a fool-proof way to analyze how Swedes will actually vote next year, the support among foreign-born men for the party had gone up almost three-fold in two years.

This new group of supporters also outnumber, proportionally to the population segment's size, Swedes with no roots abroad. Among the latter, 6.8 percent said they sympathized with the Sweden Democrats - 0.6 percentage points lower than the support among foreign-born men.

Gholam Ali Pour's family came to Sweden as quota refugees in 1987. His mother had been fired from her job for helping shelter left-wing activists. He says the transition to Sweden had not been easy.

"When you run an entire library in Iran, you're not very happy about working as a carer at a pre-school...no I don't think my parents are particularly satisfied," he says.

While his own family arrived as refugees and would potentially be barred entry if the restrictive immigration policies he now supports were then in force, Gholam Ali Pour says he wants labour-market matching to be the guiding light in Sweden's migration policy. He says that high unemployment in migrant-dense areas risks setting off more incidents such as the unrest in the Stockholm neighbourhood of Husby in May. 

"People feel they are treated unfairly when actually they are the ones who don't have education or social capital," he says.

Reactions from the Persian-Swedish community to news that he had joined the Sweden Democrats were "mixed". 

"There haven't been any threats, people have called me stupid and told me to brush up on my reading, but my parents support me," says Gholam Ali Pour, who is open to the idea of one day running for office for the party. 

Was he worried, however, that members such as he would not truly be welcome in a party that was just purged of several representatives that left hateful racist comments online? 

"I am not worried that those kinds of forces will get power in this party," he says. "They made anonymous comments because they knew that the party distances itself from those kind of comments." 

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police seeking missing Swede in London
Sofie Marie Jansson, who is currently missing in London. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

771
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