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What's Wrong With Sweden?

The bizarre Twitter assault on the Scandinavian nation’s immigration policies may be based on a fiction—but that doesn’t mean all is well in Malmö.
Behold the urban hellhole that is Malmö's main square.
Behold the urban hellhole that is Malmö's main square.Routes North/Flickr

For anyone with the faintest acquaintance with Sweden, President Donald Trump’s recent invocation of the country this weekend as a hellhole made unstable by immigration-fueled crime is surreal in the extreme. In the aftermath of a tweet that seemed to suggest that the country had just experienced a terrorist attack (it hasn’t), Sweden’s third city of Malmö in particular fell into the crosshairs when an alt-right editor offered to pay liberal journalists’ expenses to visit what he suggested was a supposedly dangerous war zone.

Elsewhere, former UKIP leader-turned-shock jock Nigel Farage falsely claimed the city was “the rape capital of Europe.” Seeing Scandinavia’s largest country, with its reputation for high living standards, good governance, and low crime, thrust into a sort of police line-up of multicultural Europe’s failures felt a bit like seeing your neighbor’s lovable pet guinea pig being ducked as a witch.