Muslims in the Swedish town of Uddevalla not only demand that they be allowed to build a big new mosque in the town, but that the municipal government pay for it.
Many thanks to Tania Groth for translating this article from Samhällsnytt:
Christmas peace at the town square in Uddevalla suffered an abrupt interruption at lunch time on Friday, when the place was occupied by the many Muslims of the city for Friday prayer and demands of the municipality to pay for the building of a mosque.
Around the big Christmas tree, hundreds of Muslims immigrants knelt on prayer mats, and from a stage a combination of Friday prayer and a protest were made against the fact that the S[ocial Democrat]-led municipality had not built a mosque for the group. Speeches were held and slogans such as “jalla jalla, mosque for all” sounded across the square.
Feysal Reerabdullah, the secretary of the Islamic Center of Uddevalla, is one of the originators of the provocative initiative with Friday prayers in the square, where Christmas is being celebrated around the Christmas tree during this Christian holiday. Feysal believes that taxpayers in Uddevalla should pay for the construction of a mosque. The premises they currently occupy are too small and the Islamic Center’s economy is not sound enough to rent larger premises.
Ingemar Samuelsson (SD), a municipal council in Uddevalla, noted that the manifestation took place, but does not agree that a mosque building is the responsibility of the municipality.
“We do not build special accommodations for associations. They can hire it for themselves in on equal terms, he explains to SR’s reporter.
Samuelsson said that for a long time the Islamic Center has engaged with the municipal council with demands for larger premises and a real mosque. The municipal council states that they had attempted to help them find suitable premises, but were unable to find accommodations at a price/rent that the association was willing to pay.
On social media, people who witnessed the demonstration have expressed criticism and horror. Someone called it “a nightmare” and writes “God help us,” probably not with reference to Allah.
The police state that the Muslim immigrant association had permission to occupy the Christmas-decorated square for Friday prayers and a demonstration.