How does Europe tackle the growing challenge of African and Middle-Eastern immigrant clans?

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Migrants from the Middle East and Africa import their criminal structures into Europe and these clan-based organizations are very successful at absorbing a wave of disenfranchised newcomers, making integration even more difficult, speakers at a Budapest conference organized by the Migration Research Institute said.

Speakers at the conference entitled “The Challenges of Clan-Based Communities in Europe” said that in recent decades, immigrants from the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa have brought with them to the continent much of their largely unknown social structures in contemporary Europe.

The speakers explored the impact of this on host communities, how it hinders integration and promotes parallel societies. Perhaps the most worrying phenomenon is associated with clans and clan-based crime, which absorbs immigrants who eschew social integration and consequently are left out of the “European dream”.

The internal structure and operational dynamics of clan-based immigrant communities are foreign to European societies, making it significantly more difficult to take effective action against them. The aim of the online event, organized by the Migration Research Institute, was to present the general characteristics of clans and explore how they can be integrated into European societies — if at all possible.

In his presentation, Johan Lundberg, professor at Stockholm University, described the differences between clan and state-based societies and pointed out the ideological factors that have hampered scientific and social discourse about clans in Sweden in recent decades. Modern, state-based societies are individualist, and under this Western system, the individual exists and finds their place in society primarily by his or her own merits, and only he or she can be held responsible for their acts.

In contrast, clan-based societies put the community first. The honor of a member of a clan is a function of the honor of the whole collective, and the transgression committed by the individual is the sin of the whole clan.

Although there are 40 clan-based criminal organizations in Sweden, the postmodern discourse that has dominated scientific and political public discourse since the early 2000s has significantly prevented a wide-ranging social debate on the problem, said the Swedish professor. 

According to the postmodern narrative, social sciences do not describe existing reality, but construct it by their choice of research topics. Following this logic, anyone who wants to deal with clan-based crime will automatically be classified as a racist. According to Lundberg, clan-based crime in Sweden has now reached a level where more and more people are beginning to see the unsustainable nature of the postmodern narrative.

In her presentation, Emese Kovács, a researcher at the Migration Research Institute, examined the measures the Danish state intends to take to eradicate parallel societies and the clan-based crime associated with them. In Denmark, according to a 2020 survey, as many as 74,000 immigrants live in parallel societies. According to research among immigrants from non-Western backgrounds, 16 percent of respondents are not free to choose their partner and 5 percent are not free to choose their own education or friends.

There is a complete political consensus in Denmark that the state must take a strong stand against clan-based crime and that the ghettos that serve as the hotbed of the problem must be eliminated. The ghettos cannot be penetrated by the Western welfare state, so the social integration of the immigrants living there cannot be ensured and the clan structures can easily survive.

The program recently announced by the Danish government wants to eliminate all neighborhoods that feature a share of 30 percent migrants or higher by 2030 in order to reduce “parallel societies”. Measures include a ban on religious marriages between minors and “re-education trips” to the issuing countries. The government also plans to significantly tighten immigration, as well as the physical elimination of ghettoized neighborhoods by relocating the population.

With regard to tackling and solving the problem, the speakers pointed out that the individual integration process can work best, because the integration of the clan itself as a structure into European societies is difficult for many Europeans to even begin to understand. 

Title image: Riots in Gothenburg, Sweden.


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