I’ve spent a lot of time being angry at the government for having to be one of several other people trying to debunk the myths about immigration. The government should be handling these questions, the government should be providing the facts that prove that immigrants aren’t the ones committing most crimes, that Sweden is not becoming an Islamic country because there are muslims living here, that immigration doesn’t just cost Sweden money – it’s contributing to our wealth as well. But countless times I have found myself having to dig up statistics and studies to disprove these claims to several racists and followers of the Sweden Democrats.
But finally, the government launched a page to their website called “Common internet-myths about immigrants and minorities“, where they present 13 of these myths (including the ones I presented above) and explain why they are myths and not facts. Or did they?
Actually, when reading through, it becomes painfully clear that what the government has done isn’t enough. Every myth is answered, yes, but there are no statistics or studies linked to them and not enough information to explain them. How are we supposed to prove the racists wrong when we have not been presented with enough information to do so? Alexandra Pascalidou, a well-known journalist and human rights activist of greek origin, has in a chronicle in the newspaper Aftonbladet made additions to the governments list, showing the flaws and what needs to be added if we are really going to succeed in shattering these myths.
When answering the myth that most immigrants who flee to Sweden lack real reasons to be here, Pascalidou says that it should be added that Sweden has been involved in the Iraqi and Aghanistan wars, making us partly responsible and therefore making it an obligation of ours to protect the people who’ve suffered from a war that we took part in.
When answering the myth about pork not being served in some schools, the government simply says that in some schools this is true because the kids there don’t eat pork. This gives the impression that the menu is changed only because of muslims, but what about all the vegetarian and vegan children, asks Pascalidou. There are more minorities with differing diets than just the ones following the islamic faith.
One of the most popular myths is that immigration has led to a crime-wave. This is one of the most widespread myths, and the government fails to discuss social class. Where do the criminals live? Do they have jobs? Do they have a future? Do they have anything left to lose? These are all important questions that Alexandra Pascalidou added, and they need to be adressed.
The initiative is great, but needs more work…