May 28th, 2024


Malmö and Me

Mark Steyn

By Mark Steyn

Published May 13, 2024


In Malmö, the twenty-year-old Israeli Eurovision contestant, Eden Golan, sits as a prisoner in her hotel room and requires a police helicopter and over a hundred officers to get her safely to the competition venue:

Miss Golan is actually younger than the diminutive Greta Thunberg howling with the mob outside the hotel, but, unlike the sainted Miss Thunberg, does not attract the sympathies of the world. I have been asked by readers what I make of last night's scenes, and I sigh wearily. Not so long ago, my somewhat tedious catchphrase was "As I said ten years ago..." In the case of Malmö, it's "As I said fifteen years ago...", and closing in on "As I said twenty years ago..." Here's your humble scribe in May 2009:

For a glimpse of the future, consider the (for the moment) bizarre circumstances of the recent Davis Cup First Round matches in Sweden. They had been scheduled long ago to be played in the Baltiska Hallen stadium in Malmo. Who knew which team the Swedes would draw? Could have been Chile, could have been Serbia. Alas, it was Israel.

Malmo is Sweden's most Muslim city, and citing security concerns, the local council ordered the three days of tennis to be played behind closed doors. Imagine being Amir Hadad and Andy Ram, the Israeli doubles players, or Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt, the Swedes. This was supposed to be their big day. But the vast stadium is empty, except for a few sports reporters and team officials. And just outside the perimeter up to 10,000 demonstrators are chanting, "Stop the match!" and maybe, a little deeper into the throng, they're shouting, "We want to kill all Jews worldwide" (as demonstrators in Copenhagen, just across the water, declared just a few weeks earlier). Did Aspelin and Lindstedt wonder why they couldn't have drawn some less controversial team, like Zimbabwe or Sudan? By all accounts, it was a fine match, thrilling and graceful, with good sportsmanship on both sides. Surely, such splendid tennis could have won over the mob, and newspapers would have reported that by the end of the match the Israeli players had the crowd with them all the way. But they shook 'em off at Helsingborg.

I may not know much, but I know Malmö - although eighteen years ago one of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's many in-house lefties, Jill Singer, accused me of exaggerating the city's transformation. I offered to fly the late Ms Singer and an ABC crew to Sweden so that she could accompany me on what, by 2006, had already become my annual ritual in Malmö. The eminent presenter declined, being more concerned, fulminating-theocrat-wise, by George W Bush, on the grounds that "a faith-based US President ...scares the bejesus out of me". So, as in previous years, I walked my walk alone:

After that conference with Lars in Copenhagen a couple of years ago, I took the train over the water to Malmö in Sweden. Malmö was one of the first Christian cities in what was then Denmark. It's now on course to become the first Muslim city in Sweden. I sat and had a coffee in a nice little place in a beautiful medieval square in the heart of town. Aside from a few modernist excrescences, it would not have looked so different in the early days of the Lutheran church. I got lucky, and fell into conversation with a couple of cute Swedish blondes. Fine-looking ladies. I shall miss Scandinavian blondes when they're extinct. At dusk, and against their advice, I took a 20-minute walk to Rosengård. As you stroll the sidewalk, the gaps between blondes grow longer, and the gaps between young bearded Muslim men grow shorter. And then eventually you're in the housing projects, and all the young boys kicking a soccer ball around are Muslim, and every single woman is covered – including many who came from "moderate" Muslim countries and did not adopt the headscarf or hijab until they emigrated to Sweden, where it's compulsory, at least in Rosengård.

Do you remember the rationalization Israel used at the Oslo Accords? "Land for peace"? In Sweden, which is about as far as you can get from Gaza and the West Bank, they're also trading land for peace, and as in Gaza unlikely to wind up with either. The Jews are already fleeing Malmö: Soon it will be like Tangiers or Baghdad or any other Arab town with a weed-strewn, decaying "old Jewish cemetery" and no one left to tend it. But it's not just the Jewish graveyard that's destined to be abandoned, but the Lutheran ones, too.

I would urge anyone to do that twilight walk from downtown Malmö to Rosengård, as the blondes thin and the bearded men multiply. That's Europe's future walking toward you.

For around a decade-and-a-half it was a more-or-less scientific experiment. Until the Covid clobbered my jetsetting, each year I would mark the precise point at which the last blonde was glimpsed and the beards took over - and each year that point advanced just a little more towards the centre of Malmö. By 2008 (which is a long time ago now: Greta Thunberg was in kindergarten) the "foreign-born" population of Rosengård was already 86 per cent. Sixty per cent had not completed elementary school.

To emphasise my point about "land for peace": What's happening on the streets of Malmö is not about faraway countries of which we know little but about Sweden and the west. A decade-and-a-half back - 2010 - I was interviewed in Copenhagen by one of Denmark's top TV presenters, Kurt Strand, about the broader background to the attacks on cartoonists and cartoons - the demographic transformation of Europe. Mr Strand seemed astonished by my assertion that Malmö was on course to be the first Muslim city in Sweden. I in turn was astonished that Kurt, a smart and perceptive fellow, appeared entirely unaware of what was happening just a half-hour train ride over the Øresund Sound from where we were sitting. But, as usual, I was committing the greatest of all media sins - being too right too soon:

While Mr Strand may have been bewildered, Muslims themselves certainly understood what was happening. Here's American mullah Yasir Qadhi:

As Imam Qadhi put it on that trip to Sweden:

Walking through the streets of Malmö is like walking through Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, or Damascus, the capital of Syria.

His words, not mine. When in Malmö, I prefer to hang out in the combined Jewish and Commonwealth War Graves cemetery (I hope it's still there - even a decade ago, it required police protection after the burial chapel was firebombed.) Or even the Beatles Lounge:

Sweden, like most European nations, has been around a long time. I breakfasted this morning in a handsomely vaulted room built in 1307, by the Skandic knight Jens Uffesen Neb. It is now called the Beatles Lounge, because, at my very table, George Harrison and Paul McCartney had once lunched, in 1967. You can't get much more historic than that, can you? In the photo, George is having a quiet smoke, while Paul looks unusually animated, having perhaps spotted Britt Ekland across the room.

As Miss Ekland testifies, the Swedes are an attractive people. One of their least attractive qualities, alas, is a certain moral narcissism. They promote themselves as 'the humanitarian superpower', and appear to have fallen badly for their own publicity...

Indeed. But "moral narcissism" is often just rationalisation. Even two decades ago careless politicians occasionally gave the game away. Way back in January 2008, I cited "the Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner, who remarked that if the electors voted to bring in sharia he'd be okay with that, or the Swedish politician who said that Swedes should be 'nice to Muslims while we are in the majority so that when they are in the majority they will be nice to us'."

How's that working out? Sweden is not to everyone's tastes, but it was, until recently, a peaceful and well-ordered society. Today, in a wholly transformed land where you can be shot dead in the crossfire at a pub and the courts say child gang-rape does not count as a serious crime, you might think that the ire of ethnic Swedes would be directed other than toward Jews. But in 2016 in Östersund I talked to a young lady whose daughter and her friends had been sexually assaulted in the municipal swimming baths by "migrants". The staff who witnessed it sized up the cocksure young lads, swimming in the pool (in defiance of regulations) in their urine-stained and malodorous underwear, and declined to attempt their removal.

"There must have been other men there," I said. "Didn't they do anything?"

My friend laughed. "Swedish men are manginas," she said - a portmanteau of "man" and "vagina" with which I was not hitherto familiar.

So today, as they surrender their country, the manginas would rather flaunt their moral narcissism than do anything about the bombings and shootings and child rapes. Greta Thunberg in her new keffiyeh symbolises the evolution of the biggest (if, per Kurt Strand, the all but totally unreported) story of our time: the diminished number of young ethnic Swedes are now assimilating with the inevitable. As I wrote just a few days ago:

The young want to belong, and what they most want to belong to is the future - and they grasp instinctively where the future's headed.

Mark's international bestseller America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It. If you haven't read the book during its first seventeen years, well, you're missing a treat. It's still in print in hardback and paperback. (Buy it at a 77% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 47% discount by clicking here. Sales help fund JWR)


Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human rights activist. Among his books is "The Undocumented Mark Steyn: Don't Say You Weren't Warned". (Buy it at a 49% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 67% discount by clicking here. Sales help fund JWR)