Rewarding Terrorists in the Nordic Countries

Islamic state fighters removing the border between Syria and Iraq (Newscom TagID: zumaglobal333109.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

In Sweden, it’s old news: as Aftenposten reported a couple of years ago, the politicians in charge of local affairs in Stockholm had decided to offer returning ISIS members instant jobs, welfare handouts, and free homes.


This, mind you, at a time when one-fifth of young Swedes can’t find work, when schools, hospitals, and retirement homes are in decline because immigrants are taking too big a cut of the funds appropriated for social services, and when it’s virtually impossible to find a flat in the Swedish capital.

Erik Slottner, an opposition politician, called the new policy “a reward for criminals.” But Ewa Larsson, a Green Party member who’s in charge of social services in Stockholm, answered that charge by making a distinction between addressing criminal acts – which, she maintained, is the job of the police – and providing social services, which is her wheelhouse.

Fair enough. But why should returning members of ISIS be entitled to move to the front of the line when it comes to collecting free stuff? The closest Larsson came to offering a justification for the policy was to say this: “No human being is born as an extremist.” There it is again: the nobody’s-really-guilty Nordic mentality that will spell the death of Sweden.

Larsson isn’t alone. Last year, Anna Sjöstrand, a local official in Lund, Sweden, told a reporter that the question of how to treat returning ISIS members needs to be “undramatized” so that public officials can examine it in a practical way. She framed the issue as follows: “Here’s Kalle who has this problem and what does Kalle need in order to feel good and to remove himself from that environment?”


OK, let’s break that down. “Kalle” (not “Muhammed”?) has a “problem” (he’s butchered any number of men, women, and children in the name of Allah, but is feeling a little worn out and has decided to look into other lifestyle options). What he needs now, above all, is to escape that “environment” (ISIS as abusive family?) and “feel good.”

And what does Kalle need? Sjöstrand explains: “It could be a residential set-up, financial help, education – it’s about investigating and looking at what the individual requires in order to quit [ISIS].” In short, it’s all about what “Kalle” needs.

Once again, there’s classic Nordic thinking about evil in a nutshell. When confronted with a psychopathic killer who’s left a trail of mangled corpses behind him, the first question to come to the mind of the properly educated Nordic technocrat is this: what does the poor soul need to receive from the government – now – in order to put his obviously troubled life back together?

Implicit in all this is an answer to the question of why “Kalle” should go to the front of the line. Of course he should: the bigger the problem a welfare client has, the more quickly the social workers should snap into action to help him out. And what problem could be bigger than having hands soaked in the blood of innocents?


Apparently Sweden’s cockamamie policies on the treatment of returning ISIS terrorists impressed somebody in next-door Finland, because now comes the news that officials in that country, too, are thinking of letting ISIS members who’ve made their way back home cut to the front of queues for government-funded abodes and other social services.

So, while law-abiding, hard-working Finns who want to live in public housing will continue to be compelled – like their Swedish counterparts – to put their names on long lists and wait patiently (sometimes for years), ISIS members with Finnish residency who want to take a break from mowing down infidels will soon be able to head back to Helsinki and – if certain officials get their way – get set up pronto in their own cribs, where they can kick off their combat boots, switch on their brand-new sixty-inch flat-screen TVs (with full cable package!), and recharge their batteries on the taxpayers’ euro.

Anna Cantell-Forsbome, director of family services in Vantaa, Finland’s fourth largest city, rationalized such an approach in this way: “If reintegration into society is considered one of the best mechanisms against radicalization, then an apartment and work training are of paramount importance.”


She added that “the sheer danger the returnees pose justifies priority service.” In other words, if ISIS members are known to get preferred status, it could help prevent their re-radicalization. But wait a second — if the system openly favors terrorists, won’t that produce more terrorists?

That conclusion may seem pure common sense. But don’t worry: as a spokesperson for the Finnish Ministry of the Interior assured a reporter, social workers will be able to “solve this problem in practice.” Naturally they will: as we all know, there’s no problem Nordic social workers can’t solve!


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