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Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Sweden’s Decades-Long Failure to Integrate

Rising nationalists are wrong to blame the recent wave of migrants. But the rest of Sweden must own up to an even harder problem.

The influx of asylum seekers began in 2015. 

The influx of asylum seekers began in 2015. 

Photographer: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

Burhan Yildiz, a leader of more than 4,000 Kurds living in the Stockholm suburbs of Tensta and Rinkeby, claims he knows people who voted this year for the Sweden Democrats, the nationalist party whose improving electoral performance has thrown Swedish politics into disarray.

“They are angry about the criminality,” Yildiz said of the nationalists’ local voters. “They think where every other party has failed, the Swedish Democrats will manage to kick those who don’t respect the law out of the country.”