Government opens institute to fight extremism

A new institute against violent ideologies and movements opened on Friday at Gothenburg University with an aim to fight terror recruitment and radicalization.

"We have several forms of violent ideologies which threaten our open, democratic and tolerant society. We have people traveling to Syria as illegal fighters, we have people going to Ukraine as illegal fighters to join Nazi groups there, and above all, we have a threat in our own country," says Christer Mattson at Segerstedtinstitutet.

The government commissioned Gothenburg University to create a center to gather knowledge, research and methods to fight terrorism. The institute is named after Torgny Segerstedt and Ingrid Segerstedt Wiberg, who famously battled Nazism.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and National Coordinator Against Violent Extremism Mona Sahlin attended the inauguration of the center.

Eighteen researchers at Gothenburg University have decided to boycott the inauguration of the institute, as they believe the center has a political agenda, local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten reports. They argue the institute, which was initially intended to fight racism, could actually end up fostering structural racism.