“In practice there is a paradox, where Swedishness becomes a goal which is never reached,” wrote Professor Masoud Kamali. “The whole policy is based on the idea of ‘us and them’.”
Dagens Nyheter was treated to a sneak preview of the report, which itself has been the subject of allegations of political meddling. The report’s initial author, Anders Westholm, was booted off the job a year ago by the then integration minister Mona Sahlin after several researchers with foreign backgrounds said he was ignoring ethnic discrimination.
Masoud Kamali, an Iranian-born professor of sociology who was one of the fiercest critics, was handed the task – prompting 70 academics to write to Sahlin complaining that the research had been unduly influenced by politics.
Kamali concludes that integration policies themselves need to shift focus, away from the individual immigrant and towards society’s structures which the immigrant finds it so hard to access.
“We must look at our institutions and ought to reform them so that people who come here have access to work, influence and power in society,” wrote Kamali.
“It’s natural that the roles of advisors, educators and keepers of order are reserved for ‘real Swedes’ while ‘the others’ are forced into a conditional existence where competence, honour, knowledge, commitment and even the right to be in Sweden can be questioned at any time.”
Kamali used the media’s reporting of ‘honour killings’ as an example of discrimination, noted DN. He argues that when an immigrant girl is murdered by her father, it is reported as an inherent part of their cultural background. But when the same thing happens to a Swedish girl, culture has nothing to do with it, as far as the politicians and the media are concerned.