Sweden

In the Ghetto

A district where integration and fundamentalism get mixed up

In Rinkeby, a neighbourhood located in the North of Stockholm, the 95% of people come from abroad. It’s a kaleidoscope of 60 ethnic groups and 40 different languages: there are people from Somalia, Iraq, Syria but even from Lebanon, Ethiopia, Turkey, Bosnia, Romania, Bengal, Peru. In Sweden, places like Rinkeby are scaring: locals avoid them, the news picture them as dangerous. Rinkeby, Tensta, Husby, Akulla are real ghettos, born in the Sixties of last century to host Swedish workers and then house to political refugees. Here unemployment shows an high percentage and petty crimes are huge, still Rinkeby is a golden, Ikea style ghetto: there are public libraries, green gardens with playgrounds for kids, clean roads, good schools and public transports. It’s an area where the word multicultural means exchange, creativity, new energies expressing themselves through art and music.

Nevertherless from places like these at least 300 people last year left Sweden to enrole with the Isis jihadists.

Sweden never really faced integration matters and now – with almost 2 millions strangers out of 10 millions of residents – discover itself vaguely intolerant. The Swedish extrem right party, called ‘Sverigedemokraterna’ reached the 15% at the last election, making Sweden a country where a stranger start to be seen as a danger and no more as a resource.

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