Culture clash? Refugee crisis floods Sweden with people seeking a new home

Malmö, Sweden is considered a melting pot of people, as its southernmost port of entry has allowed many to seek refuge in the city. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

MALMÖ, Sweden (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The refugee crisis in the years leading up to 2015 had many countries in Europe struggling to keep up with the number of people looking for a safe place to live.

For Sweden, that rise in immigration has led some to see a shift in that country's cultural identity.

The call to Friday prayer is led by an Imam at the front of the mosque in Malmö; men worship downstairs, the women do so upstairs.

Roland Vishkurti says the structure is historic, "we are the largest mosque here in Malmö and the first mosque here in Scandinavia, it's a part of Sweden's history and the Swedish Society."

His is one of the largest mosques in the country, and it's been growing as many refugees seeking asylum in record numbers have come from Muslim nations.

"They have come here to this country not on their own free will, they have been forced to come here. They have left everything behind. there are children who have come here without parents and parents who have come without their children so it's not easy for them."

More than a quarter million refugees sought refuge in Sweden, seeking asylum between 2014 - 2015.

The country modified its border policy as a result.

Some argue the suburbs of Sweden's major cities like Malmö and Stockholm have seen changes.

"It's a culture clash," Vice Chairman Julia Kronlid of the Swedish Democrats explains.

"There are people that don't..want to contribute to the Swedish country and don't want to be a part of our culture and respect the culture and respect the laws, and that is a big problem."

While Kronlid says not everyone seeking refuge is disrespecting laws, she feels some who have come to her country aren't trying to assimilate.

Sinclair Broadcast Group reached out to other political parties, who were unable to provide anyone to speak further on their position regarding the topic of immigration.

In Stockholm, some of the problems of violence are isolated to suburbs a few miles away from downtown, in areas like Rinkeby.

At the main square, while visiting in early January, Inside Your World saw a memorial for one man who was gunned down in the plaza. In a separate incident, a young man was shot and killed on a Monday evening while eating at a pizza parlor.

"I don't recognize my city anymore," Faroer - a woman living in the area - said.

When she moved to Rinkeby 20 years ago, she said it was a peaceful, safe place; she argues it hasn't stayed that way.

Katerina Janouch, a journalist who has been documenting the increase in crime against women, agrees things have changed.

"I don't know how much worse it can get, now we stand here and everything looks calm but that's the contradiction of it because on the surface it looks so calm, but it's not," she said.

Statistics provided by the Swedish government show a 70 percent increase in sexual offenses between 2014 and 2015.

"You must know who you let into your country, you can't compromise the security of your people."

Vishkurti, while hopeful Swedes don't turn their anger towards people of the Muslim faith, believes the influx of people did lead to a resource problem, that he hopes the government will address.

"They need control. There is a bit of a problem, but it is a political problem...they don't have the resources to take in 50,000 people at once as it was 2 years ago."


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