Saturday, 1 April 2017


Sweden has declared three days of national celebration after a refugee got a job. Firework displays were held in major cities including Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of well-wishers and mainly female pro-refugee activists gathered in public spaces to commemorate the occasion, many holding up signs with messages such as "Sweden Thanks You" and "Refugees Welcome".

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have arrived in Sweden in recent years. Although politicians have been keen to talk up the potential economic benefits of the influx, few signs of it have yet materialised. Language difficulties and skills gaps have acted as a barrier to the expected gains. Now, it appears, those problems are being overcome.

The refugee at the centre of the celebrations is Mohammed al-Jihadi, a 19-year-old whose pot belly and greying hair suggest that his experience of war and persecution have caused premature ageing due to emotional trauma.

Mohammed will clean the pool in Stockholm's Sturebadet swimming pool. He is looking forward to starting work. Although he has not yet mastered Swedish, when he met with local journalists Mohamed smiled and communicated his enthusiasm with gestures. He was able to speak a few words of broken English, "Yes, Sweden. The girls. Much good."

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven hailed the new development. "This day will be remembered forever in history. It shows our policy was completely correct. The skills and talents of refugees can turbo-charge the Swedish economy. From being a humanitarian superpower, we will become an economic superpower too."

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia met Mohammed, shook his hand and presented him with the Prince Carl medal, an award which recognises outstanding humanitarian achievement.

A small Neo-Nazi group called the Nordic Resistance Movement tried to spoil the celebrations by claiming that al-Jihadi was a member of ISIS. They brandished placards featuring an image from a beheading video, which the far-right extremists claimed showed al-Jihadi acting as the executioner. Scuffles quickly broke out with antifa activists. Police made several arrests.

Asked about the allegations, a government spokesman refused to comment. "We must give no platform to Nazis. There is no place in Sweden for racism. These people are so extreme, their vision is of a Sweden rooted in the past, with blonde-haired, blue-eyed people living in little hobbit villages. That Sweden is gone forever, thankfully. The New Sweden is vibrant and, yes, challenging. But, together, we shall overcome those challenges. Mohammed al-Jihadi shows us the way."

3 comments:

  1. Another April Fool's Day article?!

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