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Too well integrated ?

Ibrahim Schkupolli’s tragic outrage has provoked discussions on various forums, including unfortunately but predictably racist and xenophobic hate postings.

Swedish journalist Lisa Marklund’s books Gömda (Buried Alive - A True Story) from 1995 and Asyl (Asylum Granted) from 2004, about a local woman being harassed by an immigrant man, were discussed fiercely in Sweden and accused of being too fictional – Ibrahim seems to have proved her right, at least in Finland.

Ibrahim was brought up into a culture promising a boy that if he behaves as a man, works hard and does what a man has to do he’ll be entitled to possess a woman and her love.

Escaping from a country torn by civil war he came to Finland. Here he lived and worked for some twenty years. He learned that Finland is a Nordic society where women and men are expected to be treated with equal respect. But he also learned that every month Finnish men rape sixty Finnish women and kill two.

His case was a case of culture collision. Or confusion ? Or reluctance or even resistance to integrate ? Or even to question inherited values ? His fate was that he could eventually not handle it.

But, maybe we should also turn the coin - or, dare I say, look into the mirror: Did Ibrahim, during his twenty years here, really fail to integrate well enough into a Nordic society ? Or, did he actually integrate but too well into the Finnish culture of domestic violence ?