Swedish city is considering giving jihadists returning from Syria and
Iraq free housing, a driver’s license, and tax benefits to ease
their reintegration, but social media users have slammed the
proposal, saying it ignores the terrorists’ victims.
support for extremists was proposed by Anna Sjöstrand, a municipal
coordinator against violent extremism in the city of Lund in southern
may be criticism, but [I think] that you should get the same help as
others who seek help from us. We can’t say that because you made a
wrong choice, you have no rights to come back and live in our
society,” Sjöstrand said on
Swedish Sveriges Radio.
proposal was based on a report written by author and criminologist
Christoffer Carlsson, who says that it is difficult for people to
abandon extremism and reintegrate into society without support.
a straight social, economic and material question. You need to be
able to reintegrate into the job market, you may need to have a
driving license, debt settlement and shelter,” he
to Carlsson, “the
risk is great that they [Islamist extremists] are unable to leave the
support, so “they
might make an attempt and fail because they have nothing to keep them
out, and there is always something to return to, namely the
organization they left.”
proposal has been eviscerated on social media, however, with users
saying that Sweden is forgetting about the terrorists’ victims.
wants to help terrorists with housing, driver’s license and job,
but forgets the victims,” one
user wrote on Twitter, while another added: “Rapists,
child murderers, terrorists. Everyone should be treated equally.”
users were calling for Sjöstrand’s resignation.
Sjöstrand, of course you should say ‘You have made a choice and
are never welcome back,’” added
to Sveriges Radio, a similar ‘welcoming’ approach is also being
considered in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Borlänge, and Örebro.
was severely criticized in
January after two IS terrorists – Liban Qadar, 23, and Mahamed
Farah Osman, 24 – were offered internships in the municipality, but
chose to return to Syria, where they were later killed in battle.
incident has been classified as a clear failure for Thomas
Gustafsson, Orebro’s head of partnership.
from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) shows that
at least 300 Swedish citizens had traveled to Iraq and Syria to join
IS extremists as of April of this year.
some 140 terrorists had already returned to Sweden as of October of
this year, local media reported.
an April, a report appearing in the Swedish media claimed that
Islamists have successfully infiltrated Sweden’s Green Party. Lars
Nicander from the Swedish National Defense University said there
very similar effect today, in which people close to the Muslim
Brotherhood, an Islamist party, are apparently gaining large
footholds in the Green Party.