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Thursday, Nov 27 , 2014 ( Safar, 1436)

Updated:10:00 PM GMT

Sweden Mosques Unite Against Extremism

OnIslam & Newspapers
Sweden mosques
Sweden mosques use their weekly Friday sermons to speak against extremism. (Google)
Sweden, mosques, extremism

CAIRO – Taking a unified position against extremism, mosques across Sweden are using their weekly sermons on Friday, December 17, to condemn last week’s bombings in the country.

“It’s an attack on all of Sweden and against all of Sweden’s Muslims,” Omar Mustafa, chairman of Islamic Association of Sweden, told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Mustafa will read out his sermon at Stockholm’s Grand Mosque, where 2,500 worshippers are expected to attend, to speak against violence and extremism.

Similar sermons will be delivered in mosques across the country.

The weekly Friday prayers are the first since two blasts rocked central Stockholm on Saturday, killing one person and injured two others.

The first blast occurred when a car burst into flames in a busy shopping street in the city centre, followed by explosions from within the car which police said were caused by gas canisters.

Shortly after, another explosion took place, in which a man died and his body was found on the ground about 300 meters away from the first explosion. Two people were also wounded in this blast.

The attacks were immediately and widely denounced by Sweden's Muslim community.

The clearest message against the bombings came on Tuesday, December 14, when Hassene Ben Ali Moussa, head of the Swedish Institute for Islamic Dialogue and Communication, issued a fatwa condemning the attacks.

Sweden is Our Country”

The Friday sermons also address Muslims’ relationship with Sweden.

"Sweden is our country," reads the sermon, prepared and read by Imam Mustafa.

"That which delights Sweden, delights us. That which hurts Sweden, hurts us."

Muslims make up some 200,000 of the country's nine million people, according to semi-official estimates.

But leaders of the Muslim minority put the number at 400,000.

The weekend bombings were used by far-rights groups to tighten the noose on the Muslim minority.

Hours after the attacks, far-right Sweden Democrats lawmaker William Petzall wrote "I hate to say it, but we told you so," on his Twitter account.

Another tweet by party leader Jimmie Akesson's secretary, Alexandra Brunell said, "Is this the time when you're allowed to say: 'I told you so'? finally."

The far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), which is notorious for anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant campaigns, made their biggest election gains last month, winning 20 seats in the 349-member parliament.

Immediately after the electoral win, they started working on imposing a moratorium on building new mosques in the Scandinavian country.

The party, whose manifesto describes Muslims as “seriously jeopardizing the Swedish nation”, is also seeking a ban on face-veil and halting immigration from predominantly Muslim countries.

It opposes a panel recommendation that all major religions should be given equal time in lesson plans, saying Christianity should maintain a special status.

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