Picture: Yle / Linda Söderlund
Some Muslims in Sweden want to be able to broadcast public calls to prayer throughout the country. They have already succeeded in obtaining permission for this in three cities -- Botkyrka, Karlskrona and Växjö. "We want to have calls to prayer in more places. There are many Muslims who are Swedish citizens, who have the same rights as everyone else" said Avdi Islami, Press Officer of the Växjö Muslim Foundation, after the police recently gave permission for the Växjö mosque to make a roughly 4-minute-long prayer call every Friday around noon.
A March poll of 1,000 Swedes showed that a majority of Swedes -- 60 percent -- are against public Muslim calls to prayer.
"We do not consider the contents of the loudspeaker broadcast, but [only] the potential noise that it makes," said Magnus Rothoff, unit commander of the southern Swedish police region, in explaining the decision-making process of the police.
"Therefore, we chose to refer it to the municipality's environmental management, where there is expertise on the [noise] level that should apply. Then we came to the conclusion that we are not disturbed to the extent that one can make a different decision than to approve."
The municipality also did not consider the content of the call to prayer.
The desire of Swedish authorities that the content of the Muslim call to prayer, also known as the Adhan, can be ignored and that the issue is only of noise levels is symptomatic of the way Swedish authorities in general approach the increasing Islamization of Sweden: that is continually to deny or ignore the scope of the problem.
The content of the Adhan prayer, from a Western point of view, is deeply problematic. Its purpose is not only a neutral call to prayer -- such as church bells, which consist only of musical notes. Here is the translation of the prayer:
"Allah is the greatest (Allahu akbar). I testify that there is no God but Allah (Ashhadu anna la ila ill Allah). I testify that Mohammed is Allah's Prophet (Ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasul Allah). Come to prayer (Hayya alas salah). Come to security/salvation. Allah is the greatest (Allahu akbar). There is no God but Allah (La ilah ill Allah)".
"Allahu akbar" means "Allah is greatest" or "Allah is greater " -- presumably meaning than other deities.
In 1993, when the Catholic Church wanted to build a tower for ringing church bells in Växjö, the municipality advised the church to refrain, as the neighbors had complained that they would be bothered by church bells.
As recent decisions by Swedish authorities in Växjö and Karlskrona have undoubtedly created a legal precedent, however, Avdi Islami's wish to have calls to prayer from mosques all over Sweden is likely to succeed. The Swedish authorities, therefore, are themselves creating the conditions for further Islamization.
Apart from wanting to spread the call to prayer to mosques all over Sweden, new mosques continue to be planned and built. In Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm, the construction of the Rinkeby Mosque is about to begin. With 18 domes and at an estimated 5,000 square meters --1500 of which are dedicated to the mosque, and the rest to a restaurant, classrooms and a library -- the mosque will be among Scandinavia's largest, comparable to the Malmö mega mosque, which opened in April 2017. The Rinkeby mosque, designed by the Swedish architect Johan Celsing, will be constructed by NCC, a major construction company in Sweden. The firm estimates that the complex should be ready in 2020 at a cost of around 100 million Swedish kroner ($11.4 million). "It's going to be fun to build a mosque, from a construction point of view," said Fredrik Anheim, Head of Division at NCC Building.
"For eight years, we have been trying to get funding, but now we are as close as you can get," said Ibrahim Bouraleh, Vice President of the Rinkeby Mosque Collection Foundation, who refutes claims that the mosque is being funded by foreign donors. The foundation, however, has only collected 3 million out of the 100 million Swedish kroner needed, so the question arises, who indeed is funding the project?
The organization behind the mosque is the Islamic Association of Järva (Islamiska förbundet i Järva), part of the Islamic Association in Sweden (Islamiska Förbundet i Sverige, IFSI), considered an organizational front for the Muslim Brotherhood. As IFSI clearly states (at the bottom of the linked page and in its statutes), it is a member of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), which is generally acknowledged as an umbrella organization for local Muslim Brotherhood groups from all over Europe.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2005, then-president of FIOE, Ahmet al-Rawi, said, when asked about ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, "We are interlinked with them with a common point of view. We have a good close relationship."
The area of the future mega mosque, Rinkeby, is considered an "especially vulnerable area" -- known as a no-go zone -- defined by the police as an area "characterized by a social problem and criminal presence that leads to a widespread unwillingness to participate in the judicial process and difficulties for the police to fulfill its mission. The situation is considered acute".
Rinkeby subway station was recently categorized as a place too dangerous to work unless escorted by the police, due to the security risk created by stone-throwing and hostile gangs.
In December 2017, Lise Tamm, Head of the National Unit against International and Organized Crime, said, "Rinkeby is almost like a war zone. When the police work there, they work as the military defense would".
Sweden's Islamization of itself barrels on.
Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.