Suicide bombing stirs Sweden’s far-right
STOCKHOLM – The bombs had barely exploded in Stockholm’s bustling shopping district before members of the far-right, Islam-bashing Sweden Democrats rushed to their blogs and Twitter feeds. “Told you so,” said one. “Finally” tweeted another.
The government and just about every editorial page has warned against blaming Sweden’s growing Muslim minority for the Dec. 11 suicide attack carried out by an Iraqi-born Swede, who appears to have been radicalized in Britain.
But the far-right fringe is doing just that in another challenge to Sweden’s famed tolerance, already frayed in recent months by the Sweden Democrats’ entry into Parliament and a serial gunman’s sniper attacks against people with dark skin.
Authorities say there’s a risk that even more extreme groups, long marginalized in Sweden, will use the opportunity to advance their positions.
“The biggest worry isn’t that the Muslim community will become radicalized but what this means for the view of Muslims in Sweden,” said Erik Akerlund, police chief in Rinkeby, an immigrant suburb of Stockholm nicknamed “Little Mogadishu” because of its large Somali community.
While investigating the attack, the Swedish security service is also keeping an eye on any potential reaction from right-wing extremists, said Anders Thornberg, the agency’s director of operations. Those groups have kept a low profile since a series of attacks on immigrants and left-wing activists in the 1980s and ’90s.
‘“Told you so,’ said one. ‘Finally’ tweeted another.”
The only other people who seem so pleased at this event are the jihadis themselves. Odd, isn’t it?