Veiled women subjected to daily abuse: study

Shoving, spitting, and ethnic slurs are a daily fact of life facing women bearing headscarves in Malmö, according to a new report.

Veiled women subjected to daily abuse: study

The study, entitled Hemma och främmande i staden – kvinnor med slöja berättar (‘At home and estranged in the city: tales of women with headscarves’) and published by the University of Malmö, examines the lives of 19 Malmö women who choose to wear headscarves.

The report is a compilation of stories detailing harassment and offensive remarks, such as a female cyclist in her fifties who slowed down and screamed “Muslim cunt” before pedaling off.

But the tales also relate how veiled women often try to avoid confrontation. They women included in the study remain stoic in the face of critical stares, avoid certain parts of the city, try to be overly friendly, or strike up conversations in which they attempt to explain the significance of their headscarves.

“Some see it as a sort of learning process. Almost like ‘if I tell you how it works then you don’t need to be afraid of me’,” said Carina Listerborn, a researcher with the Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, told the TT news agency.

The report is part of a larger project about urban violence being carried out in cooperation with Lund and Stockholm universities.

Listerborn said that the stories of the veiled women can help broaden the definition of violence, and that it doesn’t have to be restricted to fighting, kicking, and stabbings on city streets and public squares.

“There are other kinds of violence which also deserve to be highlighted,” she said.


Fights, riots and smoke bombs mar Swedish football derby

Sunday’s football derby between Stockholm area clubs AIK and Hammarby devolved into minor chaos, according to police.

Fights, riots and smoke bombs mar Swedish football derby
AIK fans light flares during Sunday's match. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT
The restaurant area surrounding Friends Arena saw at least one violent attack, three mini-riots and a number of smoke bomb attacks. 
Following the match in Solna, which AIK won 2-0, one fan was severely beaten in an attack that left him unconscious. According to the police report, the incident occurred outside of a restaurant in the Råsunda area and the male victim had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital. The victim is in his mid-40s and suffered “serious injuries”, police said. 
Police also responded to reports that unruly fans threw smoke bombs into one or more restaurants, and officers additionally had to contend with “three violent riots and numerous fights”. Some football fans also reportedly threw rocks at the police. 
The police report said that two people were arrested on riot charges, but no arrests had been made for the violent attack on the 40-something male victim or an unspecified separate attack that caused another victim to be transported to hospital. 
Violence and riots are not uncommon at Swedish football matches, especially when rivals like AIK and Hammarby face off. An August 2017 match between AIK and Djurgården, another bitter Stockholm area rival, was marred by violent clashes before the action even got underway and ultimately ended with 171 people being held in temporary police custody. 
In another incident, an October 2016 derby between Djurgården and Hammarby was suspended and six people were arrested for rioting after supporters threw flares and projectiles at security personnel then climbed the barricades. The referee removed players from the pitch and suspended the game for almost 30 minutes while police worked to end the confrontation.
Scuffles even broke out between supporters of the same teams during an U21 match earlier that year. A month later, Sweden legend Henrik Larsson and his son were targeted by angry fans following a Helsingborg match, after which Zlatan Ibrahimovic recommended violent fans should “step inside an Octagon cage and settle it there” instead.
In 2014, football violence hit a shocking new level when a 44-year-old male Djurgården fan died from head injuries he suffered during a mass brawl between Djurgården and Helsingborgs IF. Hooligans have also attacked players and referees on the pitch, caused fires to break out in the stands and turned their ire on police.
In an effort to try to cut down on the problems the Swedish government has brought in a ban on wearing masks at stadiums.