On a bitingly cold morning in Stockholm, two days ago, I stood among 200 mourners in a Muslim cemetery, set in a magnificent pine forest.
They had come to bury a 15-year-old Afghan boy who had been shot dead, allegedly by a gangster of the same age.
Yet as his coffin was lowered into the frozen ground, it seemed to me that we were also witnessing the death of Sweden’s great multi-cultural dream.
Brought to this famously hospitable country three years ago, to escape the impending return of the Taliban, it appears that Ali Shafaei is the latest victim of a vicious war being waged largely by child gangsters from Sweden’s migrant sink-estates.
Among Swedish politicians, the precise causes of this internecine conflict may be a matter for debate.
Yet even those on the liberal Left now grudgingly agree that they are rooted in the country’s disastrously failed immigration policy — which in recent years opened Sweden’s borders. Some 2 million immigrants (20 per cent of the entire population), now live in Sweden, often from the most troubled parts of Asia and Africa — and the country failed to plan for the immense difficulties of integrating them into society.
Many of the offspring of these migrants have morphed dangerously into a lost generation who are effectively stateless.
Though they were born here, many don’t feel remotely Swedish, yet have no allegiance to their parents’ homelands, either. Their alienation and discontentment smouldered for several years.
But in recent weeks it has erupted with a terrifying upsurge in ultra-violent gang crime and, with its hand-wringing justice system, which many feel prioritises young offender’s rights over those of their victims, Sweden evidently has no fix.
Twenty years ago, gun crime was almost non-existent here. Today, the grisly murders we see in Scandi-Noir TV series are no longer fictional. Sweden is awash with real-life crime podcasts, documentaries and books.
Coming soon to Sweden’s cinemas (after special screenings for police chiefs, politicians and criminologists) is Bullets, a docu-drama about a 12-year-old Egyptian boy who lobs a grenade at a police car after being lured into a gang.