Karl Ritter, AP, March 20, 2007
The oppression of women and girls in the name of family honor has become an urgent problem in Sweden with the arrival of growing numbers of immigrants over the past few years, the country’s integration minister said Tuesday.
About 12 percent of Sweden’s 9 million residents are foreign-born, and the proportion is growing. Last year, Sweden received about 80,000 immigrants—the highest number ever—led by an influx of Iraqi refugees.
Sabuni, who was raised in a Muslim family but considers herself an agnostic, said: “I’m not that interested in what Islam stipulates. I am very interested in saying that some traditions, some practices are completely unacceptable and illegal.”
“Everything suggests this tradition is emerging here in Sweden, it’s not something you bring from your former home country,” Sabuni said about the Islamic headscarf. “And that brings the question: What is happening in our society that makes parents put headscarves on their children?”