Saturday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Melbourne, Florida, where he attempted to defend his controversial “Muslim ban” executive order by pointing to the consequences of migration in Europe. He focused on an unspecified event that took place “last night in Sweden”:
When you look at what’s happening in Germany, when you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.
There’s a very real question going on here: What on earth was the president of the United States talking about? What does he think is going on in Sweden?
Our best guess: Sweden’s alleged “rape epidemic”.
There’s a clear narrative about Sweden: Muslim migrants are raping Swedish women at unprecedented numbers. These claims have even made it into mainstream outlets like National Review and Fox News. Friday night, Fox’s Tucker Carlson interviewed Ami Horowitz, a journalist who said that “from the onset of the refugee crisis, there was a surge in [Swedish] gun violence and rape.”
关于瑞典有一个明确的说法：穆斯林移民强奸瑞典妇女的案件数量史无前例。这些说法甚至进入了主流媒体，比如《National Review》和《福克斯新闻》。周五晚，《福克斯新闻》的塔克•卡森采访一位新闻工作者Ami Horowitz时，Ami Horowitz说：“自从第一次恐怖袭击开始，瑞典的枪支暴力和强奸率激增。”
The odds are that Trump heard one of these claims about a Swedish refugee rape epidemic somewhere — and appropriated them to justify his travel ban.
Sweden has a higher official rape rate, because its police are better able to investigate and prosecute sexual violence. These panics about immigration, instead, reflect a long history of sexual panics in the West about nonwhite immigrants. The so-called “rape epidemic” is just something anti-immigrant campaigners have latched onto to justify their preexisting desire to shut the door on Muslim migration.
Monday, Sweden’s current Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, in a joint press conference Monday with Canadian Governor General David Johnson, said of Mr. Trump’s comments: “Let me put it like this: I was, like many other I believe, surprised by the comments made about Sweden this weekend. Sweden like many other countries, we have opportunities, we have challenges, I believe that goes for every country in the world.”
周一瑞典现任首相Stefan Lofven在同加拿大David Johnson总督一起参加联合记者招待会时提到了特朗普先生的言论，他说：“这样说吧，我像很多我相信的人一样，对于本周末关于瑞典的评论感到震惊。瑞典像很多其他国家一样有机遇，也有挑战。我相信世界上每个国家都是如此。”
That very same evening, riots erupted in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, in an area predominately inhabited by refugees. On Monday night for “over four hours, the crowd burned about half a dozen cars, vandalized several shopfronts and threw rocks at police. Police spokesman Lars Bystrom confirmed to Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter newspaper that an officer fired shots at a rioter but missed. A photographer for the newspaper was attacked by more than a dozen men and his camera was stolen, but ultimately no one was hurt or even arrested,” The Washington Post wrote.
当晚瑞典首都斯德哥尔摩一处以难民为主的聚居区就爆发了暴乱。《华盛顿邮报》报道，周一晚暴乱持续了四个多小时，暴乱分子烧毁了六辆汽车，砸了几家店面，还朝警察扔石头。警方发言人Lars Bystrom向瑞典《Dagens Nyheter》报纸证实了一名警察朝暴乱者开枪，但没打中。该报的一名摄影师被多人袭击，照相机被偷。但最终无人受伤或被捕。
In 2015, Sweden took in the largest number of refugees. Although the Swedish Crime Survey says the country’s crime rate has decreased since 2005, official statistics also show that foreign-born residents account for the lion’s share of crime in Sweden，the Washington Times has reported.
Monday night offered a glimpse into those statistics. Guess Mr. Trump had a point, after all.