The mainstream Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has argued that banning cars and the men who drive them, would solve terrorism in Sweden.
Cars “have turned into deadly weapons”, and should be banned from cities to stop attacks like the one in Stockholm from happening in future, according to the Swedish newspaper.
There is no mention of banning immigration nor extremist ideology that could limit terrorist attacks, according to an influential editorialist, writing after Friday’s terror attack with a truck by an ISIS sympathiser in Stockholm which left four people dead.
Instead, the editorialist blamed cars, calling them “effective murder machines” which “must simply be removed from city centres and places where people gather, if people are to be protected in future”.
Vehicles are “easy to steal, and so nothing has been able to stop their advance”, the editorialist argues. “It just isn’t reasonable that a big truck can be driven right into one of Stockholm’s busiest streets on a Friday afternoon right before Easter.” Sweden had however received prior warning that a large city would be a jihadist target.
A car-free Stockholm would require both men and their cars to appear at hours not convenient for most the paper says: “Most problems with regards to mobility and public transport can be solved, and deliveries to shops and restaurants could take place at times when people aren’t out on the streets.”
Sweden’s environment minister, Karolina Skog explained earlier: “Cars are driven largely by men so by giving a lot of space to cars; we’re giving a lot of space to men — at the expense of women.”
But last year Sweden gave returning ISIS fighters housing grants and free driving licences to encourage them to “reintegrate into society”.
The town of Lund decided on the largesse after the publication of a report by criminologist Christoffer Carlsson, who said terrorist fighters will face difficulties unless they are supported.
He said: “In order for them to reintegrate into the job market, they need to have a driving license, a debt settlement and shelter”.
Anna Sjöstrand, Lund’s municipal coordinator against violent extremism told Swedish Radio: “We cannot say because you made a wrong choice, you have no right to come back and live in our society.”