• Sweden's news in English

'Honour' culture common in Stockholm

TT/The Local · 14 Apr 2009, 13:25

Published: 14 Apr 2009 13:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Violence and repression are regular occurrences for a large section of 16-year-old school goers in the city centre and suburbs, according to a study commissioned by local politicians.

Ulf Kristersson (Mod), Commissioner of Social Services, is one of a number of politicians surprised and outraged by the findings.

"It's not permitted for adults, not even parents, to prevent children from living full, independent lives," he told Sveriges Television.

The results come from a survey of a cross section of more than 2,000 pupils.

Almost a quarter of female respondents, 23 percent, said they were expected to retain their virginity until marriage and were not allowed to have a boyfriend. Sixteen percent of girls were not allowed to have male friends or decide whom they would marry.

Seven percent of girls and three percent of boys said they were exposed to serious violations in the form of threats and violence.

Story continues below…

And ten percent of girls and four percent of boys said their lives were limited to the extent that they could not live in the same way as other people their own age.

The majority of teenagers who matched the honour culture profile have parents born outside Sweden.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:13 April 14, 2009 by Nemesis
When people move to Any European Union Country, they should be asked if they intend to uphold the human rights laws of European countries.

if they do not, they should be refused entry. It has taken a long time to get human rights to the standard they are in Europe. We should not allow people to undermine those advances.

If a person moves to another country, they shuold abide by that countries laws and customs. If I have to wear a burka in Saudi Arabia and be taken shopping by a male friend, then people coming here, should learn our customs.
09:17 April 14, 2009 by 7
this supposed "study" and it's reported "findings" is disturbingly sensational and intimates many more things than has even an iota of factual support.
09:32 April 14, 2009 by unkle strunkle
Why do Sweden's politicians claim to be suprised by this when previous studies have uncovered the same problem. In fact, the government has funded an unspecified "fight" against honor violence, which some argue has failed. It is the bare minimum purpose of a government to protect its citizens. Violence against women cannot be tolerated or excused for any reason. Like a popular bumper sticker in America reads, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
14:14 April 14, 2009 by svenskdod
Being a western foreigner in Sweden, I have noticed the double standards that are so undeniable.

The fight that the Swedish government has had on its hands for the last twenty or so years to integrate the minorities has been Sweden's Vietnam. When I first came to this country, I was given a small blue book "SWEDEN, a pocket guide" published by the Swedish Integration Board. In this book, that has been published in almost every language under the sun, it tells me that it is not my responsibility to change, but the Swedish peoples responsibility to change their culture to adapt to mine.

On reading this, I was absolutely astounded. If I am to go to another country, it is imperative that I must change my ways to assimilate into the culture of the country. How is it possible that the Swedish governing body would put the ideals of every minority above that of their own people? Has this culture slept for too long?
14:16 April 14, 2009 by svenskdod
I have noticed at dinner parties and the such, that the Swedish people, as a whole, are finally waking up to this. What once was implied as racist or taboo by big brother, is becoming more and more common place. It is not racism to reject some cultural norms. This "Honour" lifestyle includes Honour Killings and is simply archaic. Less we remember Fadime Sahindal, and her fight against this. We have to think past the implications of it being racist and realise that it is all about ideology. Everything these days is. I will not let myself or any person close to me be influenced by these ideals or rules of life.

Our ancestors have fought and died for the rights we have today. If they were alive today, some of them would be ashamed of the way things are going. With the economy, and so many people without jobs in Sweden, the government needs to shift its focus more to its own people and their well being, right now the peoples of other countries are not Sweden's problem.
14:17 April 14, 2009 by svenskdod
Take care of yourself before you even think of helping others, or you will simply disappoint both.
15:13 April 14, 2009 by Princess P
This article made me chuckle. So honour is illegal in Sweden is it?
15:21 April 14, 2009 by Braderunner Rennuredarb
They could at least spell "honor" correctly
15:22 April 14, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
I hate the use of the word "honour" to describe oppression and violence. God knows why we continue to dignify it in this way.

I'm not disparaging in any way those teenagers who really are suffering, but I think if you asked teenagers anywhere if they felt their parents were too hard/strict and preventing them from doing all the normal stuff their mates do etc.etc. you would probably get a high percentage saying yeah defo man. I'm a touch surprised the figure wasn't higher.
16:24 April 14, 2009 by Anmiga
@Braderunner Rennuredarb:

Honour is British English spelling and honor is American English spelling. So as this site is written in British English "Honour" is spelled correctly.
16:27 April 14, 2009 by Shark99 - The Great Catsby
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought a culture of honor was something noble? I think what they are trying to say is the culture of foreigners.
16:50 April 14, 2009 by unkle strunkle
Here is an excellent essay on the culture of honour. Its rather long, but well worth the read for anyone interested in this subject.
16:50 April 14, 2009 by Eurostan
after some years sweden will become swedstan and europe will become eurostan and all have to follow islamic sharia law men in the beards and women with veil.
21:22 April 14, 2009 by 7
i also get a kick how honor is somehow supposed to be a negative trait. also, it's odd that the examples of this honor thing includes expecting girls to remain virgins until marriage. next thing you know there's going to be virginity balls and virginity pacts...oh wait, that's in the US. funny how being "honorable" to remain a virgin in the US is grossly different from being "honorable" to remain a virgin in sweden.

as to the stanification of sweden. it's already happened. e.g. gamla stan, vasastan, birkastan
21:57 April 14, 2009 by Jasoncarter
I think you're missing the point a bit. If your daughter decides to pop her cherry before her wedding day it doesn't end up with fathers and brothers beating her for bringing shame on the family. It doesn't extend to daughters being murdered for having affairs out of wedlock/refusing arranged marriage and once again bringing shame on the family. THAT is the sort of honour culture that is being flagged up here, not the one that make the Jonas brothers disappointed.
22:00 April 14, 2009 by Kibiri
This is Sweden, not US or Iran. Whoever came here needs to assimilate. So please loosen your 15 year olders pants. Thank you for your cooperation.
22:26 April 14, 2009 by 7
i'm not. i'm criticizing the "study", its "findings" and the presentation of "the study/findings" in the article that this thread stems from. presumably the study makes only vague references to (and consequently why the article gives no substance) to a small percentage of teens; boys or girls, exposed to "threats and violence"--the rest posters are filling in themselves from assumptions.

yes, they do, though they are entitled to preserve their own identities. they/we must always respect and follow the law of the land or face the consequences of breaking the laws. as citizens we are entitled to affect change. heck as residents we are entitled to affect change should there be a need. (but i digress). not really sure of your "not the US or Iran" comment nor your most eloquent and intellectual retort:

either english isn't your first language or you are failing to assimilate.
22:59 April 14, 2009 by expert
"It's not permitted for adults, not even parents, to prevent children from living full, independent lives,"

Well on one hand its said that every body is free to practice their religion in sweden and on the other hand restrictions are imposed.

The community in question in this article has religious obligation to properly guide their children during their early age and to protect them from wrong doings. I don't think anyone could know better about children then the parents themselves. They are best protectors. Now i dont know how this can be against man made laws. So if you say that you gurantee freedom and on the other hand if you pose restriction on the parents than I dont know where do you stand in this confusing situation.
23:26 April 14, 2009 by 7
the guidance towards a particular belief system is well within every swedish resident. the objection is when threats or violence play a role in that effort to guide which is contrary to sweden's laws. also, swedish culture and laws are more supportive of a child's rights irrespective of the child's parents' viewpoint. i have some issues with how far some of those go, but that's also another story.
23:40 April 14, 2009 by IctusB
Am I understanding this correctly?

If I am a parent with a teenager, I cannot set rules for them? And its illegal to use punishment as a motivator? Say grounding, taking away of a game console etc. Is it really true that parents cannot discipline their children over there? I really hope I am misunderstanding here because that is asinine.
23:48 April 14, 2009 by 7
punishment per se is not illegal. corporal punishment is however (illegal that is).
01:59 April 15, 2009 by odinmp5
i wonder why swedes are amazed at the results.

multiculturalism requires committment from the people who arrive. they have the right to be themselves , but they also have to comply with local rules.

thank god my swedish ancestors are dead, otherwise their sadness would be total.
09:59 April 15, 2009 by buzzhunt
The family is free to advice children against pre-marital sex, there is nothing wrong about it. However, what is wrong, is exercising corporal punishment against the children who violate this norm. So are missing the point? Shouldn't we talk about violence here instead of pre-marital sex and what not?

On a separate note, it is time to understand that muslim culture in Sweden have strong backing in other EU countries and back home. There is no way integration ever happens due to these external factors alone. Locally, there is not even a basic agreement on the common denominator between the two cultures.
11:01 April 15, 2009 by mikep
Are articles in The Local checked for spelling and clarity? I had to read this article twice to understand that it was about the tribalism of minorities in Stockholm....
11:30 April 15, 2009 by magic1964
For me accepting this barbaric tradition sounds as stupid as allowing British tourists to drive on the left side of the road.........
22:03 April 15, 2009 by Stüpid
British tourists drive left? where? You mean Britishers are tourists in their own country?
22:05 April 15, 2009 by Stüpid
Again same idiots. Honour killings and culture what ever. These people should be sent to their home country.
22:19 April 15, 2009 by 7
you mean sweden when they are from sweden?
22:22 April 15, 2009 by Stüpid
I don't think any Christian European would do that. You know well who does such activities. I mentioned to those idiots.
22:37 April 15, 2009 by 7
really? no christian europeans commit heinous crimes *cough frizl* ? *

and regardless. where do you send people from sweden?
22:39 April 15, 2009 by Stüpid
Send to their grandfather's country. That's our business. Joseph is one in million. He is punished for his activities. We neglect few cases. Majority is taken into consideration.

Actually we have no space in the prison here. We already have enough josephs inside. So, if they have different names (especially honour killers)then we have to send them to their grandfather's country. Sorry we have no choice.
22:58 April 15, 2009 by 7
maternal grandfather or paternal grandfather? and what if that country won't take swedes?
23:04 April 15, 2009 by Stüpid
If either of the grandfather is European then we won't send. Unfortunately if not we will negotiate with the government of their countries Diplomatically and send them. It works. No problem. Afterwards their respective country will torture them. It's not our business. Let them handle their own honoured people by giving them honour. Don't worry we would send only honoured people.
23:24 April 15, 2009 by 7
what if the maternal grandfather is from chile and the paternal grandfather is from indonesia? which do you choose?

what if either grandmother is from europe?

have you considered a job with UD? i can't imagine anyone currently working there is capable of convincing countries to voluntarily take in swedes that sweden has decided to export. perhaps sweden could negotiate a contract with countries like libya or zimbabwe where the financial incentive would work. what do you think? i can imagine there are villages in somalia which might take people in for money. how much money is enough?

just don't sell them weapons and you should be ok.
23:36 April 15, 2009 by Stüpid
If there is blood relationship with europe then we would leave them. No blood relation then forget them. As per your list of countries mentioning bla bla... Chile people won't do honour things. They are more or less like Europeans. If you mention some other country then we will take into consideration and send them. We will send to whatever suits them nearest. We will decide, but will anyway send to one or the either. There is no war anywhere right now. There is only poverty. Any country can accept their decendents.

Don't you know several incidents.

Croatian girl sent back even after living several years. Australian deported to sweden due to his criminal record... i can't remember all. When sweden is able to send and receive them to such developed countries then you can imagine. There was one incident where an afrikan swede was deported and paid 3 miljon kronor in compensation.
23:49 April 15, 2009 by Princess P
What exactly do you mean by blood relationship? My mum is from Manchester and my Dad is Irish but my blood group is of asian origin. Where would you send me to? I'd quite like to go to Thailand for a while and I'm not too keen on Manchester.
00:06 April 16, 2009 by 7
pinochet? well...that's just factual details. let's forget about that for the sake of the discussion.

i did mention indonesia. but we could also say...armenia?

i'm still not sure how you are going to negotiate for a country to take swedes that sweden doesn't want. would sweden take canadians that canada doesn't want if the canadians wanted to send them to estonia (sweden being physically close to estonia that is)

so many people will be happy to hear that.

so sweden would take them back?
11:22 April 16, 2009 by unkle strunkle
007, do you have anything to do with the fact that I am now blocked from posting to the "Murder suspected in Good Friday crash" thread? The index page is now labeled "your topics" at the top where there was no label before and I cannot even see the thread.

I was honostly posting about the instances of child/wife murder that came to my mind. I don't think that is surprising as this "Honour culture" article is the no. 1 most read article today and the no. 5 most emailed on TL. However, I agree that my comments would have fit better in this thread, and was just about to say so, when I found myself to be blocked - not very conducive to discussing a topic.

I still stand by my opinon that so-called honour killings are far more prevailent today than any other form of revenge killings by men of their wives / children.


And for the sake of completeness (as I have now way of knowing if my posts on that thread have been removed), here are the other links I posted there...



11:32 April 16, 2009 by 7
i called your posts spam and it seems someone agreed. my last post on that thread reads

you're discussing your topic now and the other thread isn't getting spammed. seems win win to me.
11:40 April 16, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
Are you talking worldwide or just Sweden, and do you have any stats for that?
12:05 April 16, 2009 by Kibiri
The page "unkle strunkle" linked is inaccessable right now, but as I remember it was saying honour killings in sweden is like 2-3 per year, which is far less than passion killings. It also explains why these murders still need our attention although statistically its not that significant.
15:24 April 16, 2009 by unkle strunkle
2-3 per year is too many. Statistics are difficult to obtain because not all cases of honour violence are reported. I didn't know about the murder Famide Sahindal before svenskdod mentioned her in this tread. It is tragic that a woman had to die before the practice of honour violence became known in Sweden. The response in Sweden was to host a European Conference on honour violence to discuss how to best deal with it. That fact that study which is the subject of this thread shows that honour violence continues in Sweden, means that there is more work to be done.

I couldn't find the article that I previouly linked, but I did find that the same author, a Social Anthropologist from the University of Oslo, wrote this book about Fadime Sahindal and the culture of honour.
15:27 April 16, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
Can I just clarify here - by "Statistics are difficult to obtain" do you mean "I have absolutely no statistics, I just made it up"?
15:53 April 16, 2009 by unkle strunkle
This is what I mean...


By calling me out on this, do you realize that you are standing up for men who abuse and even kill their wives, daughters and other female relatives for reasons of "honour?" I don't believe that to be your intention. I just think that too many people are blinded by a tolerant ideology that believes "we are all equal" and they then must yell "racist" or "bigot" when confronted with an ugly fact like honour violence and the culture that produces it. Please don't kill the messenger. Save your anger for the perpertrators of these crimes.
22:34 April 16, 2009 by Jack123
I think that its unfair and not accepted for parents to forces there daughters to marry,or to beat them for having a boyfriend.

I dont understand why do you people always blame the foreigners , not all foreingers are like that , not all muslim families are like that.

And those who forgot that Sweden has alot of Christian immigrant familes and i dont think they do these things.

Furthur more these are sick people who force there daughters to marry or doesnt allow them to have boyfriends.

The Swedish goverment or the youth center should help these teens and save them from there crazy families !
10:58 April 17, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
What complete bollox. I might just as easily, and just as ridiculously, say you're standing up for non-Muslim men who murder their wives by trying (falsely) to claim they are a minority.

I don't think it makes much difference whether a man beats his wife to death for reasons of family "honour" or because he thinks she was looking at another man or for whatever reason. You only seem to care about domestic abuse when it's Muslims doing it. Which leads me to think you probably don't actually care about it at all, you're just using the tradedy of other people to further your own little hate campaign.

I don't think everyone is equal, by the way, as that's clearly nonsense.
11:59 April 17, 2009 by unkle strunkle
If my claim is ridiculous, it is equally ridiculous of you to claim that I have a hate campaign or that I care any less about domestic abuse committed by Svenssons. That is absurd and I do not hate anyone. Full stop.

I don't consider it a tragedy of other people when it happens here in Sweden. It is the job of the Swedish state to protect the women who live here from abuse and violence. If this abuse stems from an honour culture, then the men who act from this culture need to be educated about the Swedish culture which affords equality to women. At the same time there needs to be a zero tolerance policy for men who commit acts of violence against women for any reason.

I applaud the efforts of individuals like Farman Sediq who have the courage to challenge the honor culture and change their attitudes towards, and treatment of, their female relatives.
12:07 April 17, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
It's just funny how you only bother to bring the topic up if you think it's a Muslim thing. And that you suspect, with absolutely no info to back it up whatsoever, that Muslims kill their wives more often than non-Muslims. I believe that in the UK, 2 women a week are killed by their husbands, if that is mostly Muslims then we can all stop worrying about the Islamification of Europe because their women and thus breeding potential will all be dead soon anyway.

The rest of your post I agree with entirely.
12:35 April 17, 2009 by Leonard
I would like the stats on how many teenagers lie on surveys. I would guess around 50% which makes the stats completely useless.

I remember when I was a young brat that use to fill out the sex surveys when I was in high school. Yup sex 5 times a day without a condom. The community was shocked by the stats that all 15 year old boys are getting lucky several times a day without protection. Suckers!!!

The drug surveys were the best!
16:30 April 17, 2009 by 7
you're right that acts of violence towards women should be stopped regardless. which educational programs do you support for men to partake in to achieve the zero sum? since this is obviously an area which you feel strongly about (violence towards women) you must certainly be aware of the number of women abused in sweden. how do you accept these numbers? what are you doing to speak out against it?
Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available