Ariel Zilber — Daily Mail.com Feb 23, 2017
While President Donald Trump was ridiculed last week for suggesting there was a terrorist attack in Sweden, two nationalist politicians from the Scandinavian country are coming to his defense.
Per Jimmie Akesson and Mattias Karlsson, two members of parliament from the right-wing Sweden Democrats, backed Trump’s characterization of Sweden as a country that is plagued by migrant-fueled crime.
Akesson and Karlsson co-wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
‘Mr Trump did not exaggerate Sweden’s current problems,’ Akesson and Karlsson wrote. ‘If anything, he understated them.’
During a rally in front of supporters in Florida last week, Trump said Sweden was ‘having problems like they never thought possible.’
Police were forced to fire warning shots after a group of rioters began setting fire to cars, throwing stones at police and looting shops in the Rinkeby district of Stockholm on Monday night.
A police officer was injured during the clashes, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT reported.
Initially, Trump was thought to be talking about terrorism in Sweden, but the president later tweeted that he was referring to a Fox News segment about crime committed by migrants from the Middle East.
‘Riots and social unrest have become a part of everyday life,’ Akesson and Karlsson wrote.
‘Police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel are regularly attacked. Serious riots in 2013, involving many suburbs with large immigrant populations, lasted for almost a week.’
‘Gang violence is booming.’
‘Despite very strict firearms laws, gun violence is five times as common in Sweden, in total, as in the capital cities of our three Nordic neighbors combined.’
The two politicians also wrote in their op-ed that the Jews of Sweden who had once lived in the city of Malmo have fled because of the large immigrant population there.
‘Anti-Semitism has risen,’ they wrote. ‘Jews in Malmo are threatened, harassed and assaulted in the streets.’
‘Many have left the city, becoming internal refugees in their country of birth.’
‘For the sake of the American people, with whom we share so many strong historical and cultural ties, we can only hope that the leaders in Washington won’t make the same mistakes that our socialist and liberal politicians did,’ they wrote.
But a Swedish government minister from the ruling Social Democrats blasted Akesson and Karlsson, accusing them of lying in the op-ed.
Morgan Johansson, the country’s justice and immigration minister, said on Thursday that the opposition lawmakers were harming the country by exaggerating the problem of crime.
‘I note that it has gone so far that the Sweden Democrats are intentionally harming Sweden by lying about how things are,’ he told The Local.
‘We can’t let that go unchallenged. They’re painting a picture of a country characterized by violence, when it’s the exact opposite.’
‘Not to mention the risk of being the victim of deadly violence in the US is four times higher than in Sweden.’
Johansson also hit out at Fox News. He said that Trump should not rely on information he hears from the cable news network.
‘I would say that perhaps the US president ought to be a bit more critical of his sources and not get all his news from reports on Fox News,’ he said