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Fearful Norwegians Wonder: Are ‘Swedish Conditions’ Coming to the Streets of Oslo?

Oslo is an unremarkable place compared to other European capitals, lacking the picturesque charm of smaller Norwegian cities such as Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. But it’s pleasant and pretty enough. Tourists find it easy to get around, with lots to explore. The Oslo Opera House, which opened in 2008, is spectacular. And in summer, you can swim in the Oslofjord and enjoy expensive utepils (“outside beer”) on the seafront or on Karl Johans gate, the city’s broad main street. Like the rest of Norway, Oslo traditionally has been a safe place, even by the standards of other wealthy countries. It’s also remained more demographically homogenous than most of its neighbours, being geographically isolated from migration patterns that have affected the rest of Europe.

Over the last month, however, Oslo’s city centre has witnessed an eruption of unprovoked attacks on random victims—most of them ethnic Norwegian men—by what police have described as youth gangs, each consisting of five to 10 young immigrants. The attacks typically take place on weekends. On Saturday, October 19, as many as 20 such attacks were recorded, with victims suffered varying degrees of injuries.

One of the incidents involved a group of young men, originally from the Middle East, detained for attacking a man in his twenties in the affluent west end. According to police, the victim had been kicked repeatedly in the head while lying on the ground, in what appeared to be a random, unprovoked beating. Another victim that weekend was the uncle of Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr, who suffered several broken ribs after being mobbed at the Romsås subway station.

The following weekend in Oslo, Kurds and Turks clashed over recent developments in Turkey, and ended up looting a branch of the Body Shop on Karl Johan gate, as well as destroying several cars. Car fires also have been on the rise, though the problem has been around for years. (Even in 2013, cars were set alight in Oslo at the rate of about one per week, mostly in the city’s poorer east end.) Overall, crime rates are still low by the standards of other cities, but the recent rise in youth crime suggests that may be changing. “We see more blind violence where people are attacked, ambushed and beaten up,” said Labour Party politician Jan Bøhler to the media last month. “This is terrorising our community.” While such observations are widely shared, Bøhler is notable for being one of the few politicians on the left who’s raised his voice about rising crime among young immigrants.

Oslo is the fastest growing capital city in Europe, despite the fact the country now is registering fewer births than at any time since the government started keeping track in the 19th century. About 14% of the country’s population is now composed of immigrants, with Poles, Lithuanians and Swedes topping the European migration sources; and Somalian, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria supplying the greatest number of non-OECD arrivals. Many of the immigrants congregate in Oslo, where, according to Statistics Norway, about a third of all residents are immigrants or born to immigrants. (As recently as 2004, the figure was just 22%.) In several areas, such as Stovner, Alna and Søndre Nordstrand, the figure is over 50%.

According to a 2015 Statistics Norway report, “most persons with an immigrant background living in Oslo come from Pakistan (22,000), while 13-14,000 are from Poland, Sweden and Somalia. There are large differences between the districts: Persons with a background from Pakistan and Sri Lanka are most represented in [the far eastern suburbs of] Oslo.” By one 2012 estimate, 70 percent of Oslo’s first- and second-generation immigrants will have roots outside Europe by 2040, and about half of the city’s residents will be immigrants.

Until now, Norway had seemed to cope well with the influx of immigrants from war-torn Muslim countries, in part because the intake levels generally were kept at a level that permitted newcomers to be integrated without overwhelming local resources. Indeed, there has been a broad consensus in Norwegian politics to keep immigration rates lower than those of comparable countries such as Sweden and Germany. Nevertheless, concerns have been rising in recent years, even if the ruling class was hesitant to discuss the issue. The country’s libertarian Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) has repeatedly asked the country’s statistical agency to report on the statistical relationship between crime and country of origin. In the past, Statistics Norway refused, saying that such a task was “beyond its capacity.”

A map of the Oslo area published by Statistics Norway, showing immigrant concentrations, from under 20% (yellow) to over 40% (brown).

But this year, for the first time, such a report was published. And the numbers were clear: Immigrants from certain backgrounds—particularly Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanis—were many times more likely to commit violent crimes than other Norwegians (including other immigrant groups). In 65 out of 80 crime categories, non-Norwegians were over-represented. The largest discrepancy was in regard to domestic violence: Immigrants from non-Western countries were found to be eight times more likely to be charged for such crimes. Rape and murder were also heavily skewed toward these immigrant groups. Worryingly, the figures showed that second-generation immigrants were more likely to be criminals than their parents.

For a long time, the expression svenske tilstander—“Swedish conditions”—has been used to describe large Swedish cities such as Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm, which feature areas plagued by bombings, gang-related gun violence, robbery and rape. In the past, Norwegians used the expression somewhat disparagingly, insisting that such issues would never arise in Norway (while also suggesting that the situation in Sweden was itself exaggerated by those with an anti-immigration agenda). But gradually, “Swedish conditions” have seemed less distant.

Heidi Vibeke Pedersen, a Labour politician representing the immigrant-heavy area of Holmlia, recently wrote a Facebook post about her own experience, which was subsequently reprinted in VG, Norway’s biggest tabloid, under the headline “We have a problem in Oslo”:

Yesterday, my 15-year-old daughter went past [the suburb of] Bøler on a bus half an hour before another 15-year-old was robbed and beaten. Now I need to make a risk assessment: Is it too dangerous for her to go alone to the youth club…Young people now grow up in an environment where threats and violence are common, where adults might be afraid to interfere, and where they are told that the police are racist…Our part of the city is becoming more and more divided. We have areas that are mainly “Norwegian-Norwegian,” and others that have large immigrant populations. This isn’t diversity.

Pedersen’s article alluded to the fact that, in the quest to maintain their own cultures, some Muslims in Norway prefer to segregate instead of integrate. The newspaper Aftenposten recently uncovered the existence of Islamic schools presenting as cultural centres. And Islamsk Råd, the Islamic Council of Norway, now has proposed a separate branch of the Barnevernet—the government-run social services responsible for children—to deal with Muslim children.

The article was shared by many. But Pedersen’s use of such terms as “Norwegian-Norwegian” (or norsk-norske) didn’t sit well with progressives and community advocates. Hasti Hamidi, a writer and Socialist Party politician, and Umar Ashraf, a Holmlia resident, wrote in VG that Pedersen’s use of the term “must mean that the author’s understanding of Norwegian-ness is synonymous with white skin.”

Camara Lundestad Joof, a well known anti-racist activist and writer at the Dagbladet newspaper, accused Pedersen of branding local teenagers as terrorists. Using her own hard-done-by brother as an example, she explained how, in her opinion, Norwegian society has failed non-white young people. Had he been treated better, she argues, he and others like him would fare better. (One problem with this argument is that Norway is one of the least racist countries in the world.)

Of course, this tension between racial sensitivity and blunt talk on crime has existed for generations in many Western societies. But it’s a relatively new topic in Norway, which is only now embracing certain hyper-progressive academic trends. (Oslo Metropolitan University, for instance, has recently produced an expert in so-called Whiteness Studies.)

In fact, some influential Norwegians apparently would prefer that Statistics Norway had never released its report on crime and immigration in the first place. This includes Oslo’s vice mayor, Kamzy Gunaratnam, who told Dagbladet, “Damn, I’m angry! I’m not interested in these numbers…We don’t have a need to set people up against each other. These are our children, our people.”

But burying the truth is never a good long-term strategy for anyone, including members of immigrant communities. The more persuasive view is that these issues should be addressed candidly, while they are still manageable. Unlike many other European countries, Norway doesn’t yet have an influential far-right party. But that may change if voters see that mainstream politicians are too polite to address a problem that ordinary people all over Oslo are talking about.


Kathrine Jebsen Moore grew up in Norway. She now lives with her husband and four children in Edinburgh. Follow her on Twitter at @moorjebsen

Featured Image: An Oslo street scene from 2011. 


  1. But what the leftists want more than anything IS mass third world immigration ( invasion ) into Europe.

    They hate Europe, they hate Western civilisation, they hate white people. They are overt in their hatred and never shut up about how every problem in the universe is the fault of the West and the people who built it.

    Leftist are increasingly non-white and Islamic.

    It’s a blatant invasion, a colonisation, and there’s no placating these invaders.

  2. I am from Australia. i was born in 1946 and as a result i have lived with the various waves of immigration. interspersed within the almost constant arrival of UK citizens (10 Pound Poms) as sponsored immigrants. Immediately post WW II we had large numbers of Italians and greeks, various jewish people mostly (from my limited experience) from middle europe, (the chinese had of course been here since the 1850’s) then a wavelets of vietnamese and lebanese then the indians and more chinese and the south americans and a range of africans and on and on it goes. My understanding is that we have people from almost every country in the world. Australia at the moment takes about 160,000 people a year and that doesn’t count millions of short term tourists and students wandering around. In the main we all get on. But we have an immigration policy and selection process. Open borders and no planning will lead to the chaos the scandinavians seem to be experiencing. Control your borders, select your new citizens and it will all work out OK.

  3. And the numbers were clear: Immigrants from certain backgrounds—particularly Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanis—were many times more likely to commit violent crimes than other Norwegians (including other immigrant groups).

    Stop all immigration from these places immediately.

    Not a difficult first step at all, although it may require a greater amount of political courage than the people of Norway are capable of.

  4. Only experience. Which is why I am very much in favour of assisting illegals, and the homeless, to settle into wealthy liberal enclaves.

  5. In my experience, the tendency of Europeans to blame themselves for Muslim migrants’ failure in their countries is frightfully common. I don’t understand how they could have such a poor opinion of themselves, or reconcile this notion with how Jews became so successful despite actual active efforts on the part of European society to keep them down. Regardless, a society that hates itself so doesn’t deserve to survive, so if Europe fails to prevent this invasion, good riddance. I hope the Anglosphere takes note.

  6. A big part of the Scandinavian problem with immigrants seems to follow from their labor laws. Basically, the new immigrants can’t work: the labor laws, work permit regulations, and minimum wage requirements make it almost impossible for the immigrants to find jobs.

    The result is large groups of unemployed, bored young men. Add in the difference between the immigrants’ sexual norms (strong taboos on pre-marital sex, and not getting married until you have a job (which they can’t get)) versus the fairly libertine Scandinavian norms they see all around them, and you can be assured that these unemployed, bored, and frustrated young men are going to cause problems.

  7. Islam was never a leading culture anytime, anywhere. That idea is pure fiction, as pure fiction of the wonderful multicultural ‘convivencia’ of Muslim dominated Spain.

    While the Indian mathematics system may have been transmitted by the Arabs to Europe, the ideas, the concept of zero, and the numbering system came from India.

    And while the Arab Muslims may have had a fair amount of astronomy, they didn’t know the earth went round the sun, which is why they had - still have for some things - 28 day luna months, and still point telescopes at the horizon to work out when Eid will be rather than work it out mathematically, which is rather easily done these days.

    The Arab muslim invaders of the Levant and parts of Europe may have made translations of Aristotle, but Aristotle was a Western European, and the translations were likely done by conquered people, and it was the Arab muslims who set fire to library at Alexandria, destroying many important works of antiquity because they were sacrilegious, not the holy koran.

    In the medieval period when Islam was supposedly superior those civilisations never produced anything like the great Cathedrals, not least because they didn’t possess the engineering knowledge or indeed glass. If contemporary accounts are to be believed, Arabia didn’t have glass windows anywhere well into the 20th century.

    There was never much of an Islamic intellectual mind to close in the first place.

  8. It’s hard to believe the descendants of Vikings are putting up with this nonsense. Let’s hope some sensible people will have the man bits to step in and deal with it before it’s left to the real racists.

  9. Those criminal immigrants must all be suffering from the racism of white Norwegian. It’s the only explanation.

  10. 100% of them don’t. The moderate left still exists they’ve just had the wind knocked out of them by wokeness. They say that someting like 8% of the population are actually woke. Some fraction sorta go along with wokeness because they think they hafta. I dare say a growing number of people are sick to death of it, and that includes most of the young people I know.

  11. And yet, if presented with a conflict between the wokest of the woke and a reasonable right-wing target of woke aggression, there’s not a Leftist in America who would criticize the woke or defend its target.

  12. I’ve come to believe that modern Scandinavians are descended, not from Vikings, but from the people whom the Vikings preyed upon. Farmers and slaves.

    And for decades now, I’ve heard African Americans (not media personalities or sports stars, but people in the street) say: “White people are stupid.”

    “White people are stupid.” I would usually smile indulgently, figuring that this was simple racism born of resentment over how the African American community has failed to thrive, but lately, I’ve been having second thoughts about their reasoning.

    Articles like this have me thinking more and more that; yes, white people are pretty stupid. Most of them.

  13. You make good points but remember that 2nd generation immigrants are profoundly affected by the intersectionalist cult of social justice’s constant indoctrination into victimhood ideology, racist and sexist world views and exclusion from responsibility. Myths aren’t reality but we use them as templates as we build our personal lives and try to make sense of the world.

    Positive myths like the melting pot and integration as success; poor-boy makes good in the big city through hard work; it’s what you do not who you are that counts; and the love of a good woman tames a wild man into a responsible family man were never completely true but were worth striving for and doing so helped make them truer than not.

    But social justice pushes negative myths: you’ll never fit in or be accepted because race, sex, religion are paramount at all times and are constantly used to cheat you and oppress you; all of society’s institutions are corrupt and stacked against you to enforce this oppression but there’s nothing constructive to be done as those irredeemable institutions must be destroyed first; what you do doesn’t make any difference anyway; the family is itself a system of oppression and fathers are unnecessary - even counterproductive - for children’s development into responsible adults which is good because if you do marry and have children they’ll likely be taken away from you when they get to school age. Striving to prove these truer than not is a terrible world to grow up in.

    These myths make a toxic brew and, as you incorporate them into your life, they make your life worse in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.

  14. “The Left really needs to revise it’s thinking”

    My hypothesis that that before it can even begin to revise it’s thinking it needs to rediscover thinking. In the 60s thinking is what The Establishment did; cool hippies did drugs and Imagined. Good Imaginers gave us Correctness where it eventually became unthinkable for a socially acceptable person not to pretend to believe various nice lies. Eventually lip service was not enough, and so we had the rise of SJ and of course the very most zealous Imaginers are the woke. But it’s all based on substituting thinking for Imagining.

    Fabulous post Reverend. Whitey wants to die.

    “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”

    Malcolm Muggeridge

    There’s we few remaining social conservative types who at one and the same time are Phobes but don’t want to live under sharia either. But there are honestly times where for a few brief moments after I’ve read about Yaniv’s latest assault on sanity that I think I might prefer the caliphate.

    Fabulous post CD, let’s have more of the same.

  15. What’s wrong with nationalism? My deepest reason for hating multicult is that it would make the world so bloody boring. Blut und boden … love it! The French and the Germans are now man and wife in a loving relationship, but France and Germany are even now delightfully different places. It is almost divine the way that multicult seeks exactly the opposite of what it claims to want. I say, let’s preserve diversity. I want England to be English and I want Poland to be Polish and Zululand to be Zulu. But let’s keep the combat to the football pitch where it belongs. The Krauts can achieve World Domination by winning the World Cup :wink:

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