Experts say the left and right fringes in Sweden have equal potential for violence:
Political extremists in Sweden are generally more violent than their counterparts in Denmark in Germany and Denmark, a new report shows.But the far right gets all the attention:
The study, commissioned by the government and carried out jointly by the National Council on Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet - Brå) and the Swedish security service Säpo, also found that groups on the right and the left in Sweden are equally prone to violence.
“Political violence is equally likely on both sides,” Säpo analyst Johan Olsson told Svergies Radio (SR).
In accepting the report on Monday, Sweden’s Minister of Integration and Equality Nyamko Sabuni said it was time to recognize the detrimental effects of left-wing political violence.For young intellectuals nothing has more allure than forcibly redistributing wealth a la Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro and Pol Pot. You know how it works: do it their way or it's a bullet behind the ear. The seductive allure of violence perpetrated in pursuit of a supposedly noble cause is powerful indeed.
“We have long distanced ourselves from the white power movement’s activities and violence, not least due to historical experiences. But for just as long we’ve romanticized and downplayed the violence that left-wing groups have inflicted on society’s representatives, calling it a youthful misunderstanding or freedom fighters who have gone too far,” she told SR.
Another sign of Swedes’ differing views toward left- and right-wing violence is the difference in the number of programmes designed to help people leave extremist groups.
While there are a number of support groups for people interested in leaving neo-Nazi and other nationalistic networks on the far-right, there are few resources available to those looking to distance themselves from left-wing extremists.
“As far as I know there is no support for those who want to leave left-wing extremist movements and that’s due in part to the fact that society hasn’t treated this sort of extremism with the same seriousness as right-wing extremism,” said Robert Öhrell from Exit, a Stockholm-based organization which gives advice and support to people wishing to leave right-wing groups, to SR.