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Scandinavian Rape, Scandinavian Blinders
by Bruce Bawer
The Norwegian Royal Palace, located in the heart of Oslo, is surrounded by a pleasant little park called Slottsparken. It contains lawns, flower beds, and a rippling brook spanned by a footbridge. Behind the Palace is a small cabin where members of the palace guard spend their down time napping and watching TV.
A less charming feature of the park is that it's also been the setting of several rapes – no fewer than five of them between June and October of 2011 alone. Things got so bad that the Radisson Hotel – which is just across the street from the park, a minute's walk from the Palace – began to provide its guests with rape alarms to wear when going out for a stroll.
A newspaper profile of one of the 2011 Slottsparken rapists provides a pretty representative picture of the kind of individual who commits most of these crimes. The perpetrator was a young Iraqi man who came to Norway in 2003 as an asylum seeker. His asylum application was rejected, but – as is standard practice – he was allowed to stay anyway. Three years later, he brutally raped an 18-year-old girl outside Oslo's City Hall and was sentenced to four years in prison. In 2009, after his release, a deportation order was issued; he challenged it in court; in 2010, he lost his case. Nonetheless, he was again allowed to stay. A year later, still in Oslo, he raped a woman outside the Royal Palace.
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