How the Muslim Brotherhood’s Structure in Sweden Has Changed
On the eve of 2022, there are clear signs that the Muslim Brotherhood will further change the structure and methods of its financing through tax funds. From the private schools and private school groups as well as student associations, which early on financed activities, it is moving over to other appropriation items in the State budget.
Over-financed student unions and religious communities have received amounts in the multi-millions from the government during the Corona crisis despite the fact that these are not directly covered by the support. At the same time, the investigation by Ledarsidorna shows that the student unions have systematically attempted to appropriate more funding for themselves by reporting inflated salary levels for the people they seek support for.
There are questions surrounding the student unions, in particular whether these are actually covered by the law on short-term work, which explicitly excludes all tax-funded activities from what became the Corona grant. Student unions today are over-financed, and the Public Education Council is currently under investigation by the National Audit Office after extensive irregularities were discovered.
Irregularities with the Public Education Council that Ledarsidorna and the opinion-maker Rebecca Weidmo Uvell have pointed out since 2015 and which have come to the attention of the researchers Aje Carlton and Magnus Ranstorp, to finally be revealed in the greater context on TV4. Some of the organizations that are subject to doubt are the organizations that can be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ledarsidorna’s examination shows that the organizational and financial structure put together by the Brotherhood has a long history. As early as 1990, the Islamic Association in Stockholm, which today operates the Stockholm Mosque, held a meeting at the Hotel Malmen in Stockholm with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in the USA. The Stockholm Mosque is open about its affiliation with the Brotherhood through many statements from the present imam, Mahmoud Khalfi.
This meeting, with documents such as meeting notes, will be reported in a sequel to “Islamism in Sweden”, planned for release in May 2022.
Members of the Stockholm Mosque, during the time they were members, as well as after they left Sweden, have been engaged in weapons smuggling to ISIS or have joined allies of ISIS/Al Qaeda. The Stockholm Mosque is considered one of Sweden’s most radicalizing environments, but at the same time, it is the mosque with which many representatives of the Swedish Church prefer to work The same situation prevails in relation mainly to the Environmental Party and the Social Democrats.
The Stockholm Mosque itself is the hub within the Islamic Association in Sweden, which is the foundation that controls the Brotherhood financing through the Ibn Rushd Study Association, as well as the aid organizations Islamic Relief and Muslim Aid.
Muslim Aid, from its own information, is currently negotiating with the Sida aid authority to be elevated to the same status enjoyed by Islamic Relief. As a strategic partner with Sida*, Islamic Relief receives infrastructural subsidies financed by tax funds to distribute itself without any real intervention from the authority. Islamic Relief’s annual grant exceeds 100 million Swedish crowns.
There is a trend today for the Brotherhood to widen its financing by general funds to include several budget items, but the most evident is that today they lump their activities in budget items that are hard to examine from outside. Such as citizens, media, and investigating authorities as well. By placing a greater emphasis on foreign aid, it makes examination more difficult in that this is partly protected by foreign secrecy, and partly because foreign aid is based on close cooperation with civil society organizations.
These organizations have no obligation to report, even internally to their members, how they distribute allocated funds.
Forum Civ, or formerly Forum Syd, is the clearest example, which itself has over a quarter million Swedish crowns in tax funds available every year, and there they distribute this among members without the members themselves having full insight. Muslim Aid, Islamic Relief, like ACT Swedish Church, are members of Forum Civ. Muslim Aid is now also seeking status as a strategic partner of Sida in order to be able to increase revenue from tax funds even more.
The National Auditing Office is presently examining the aid authority Sida’s criteria and selection of strategic partners.
On the eve of 2022, it is not excluded that the Brotherhood will further change structures and methods for its financing by tax funds even more. From the private schools and private school groups, as well as study associations that financed activities at an early stage, they are moving over to other budget items in the State budget.
There are clear signs that the trend will continue and be expanded with several sources of financing, while, at the same time, such activity will be protected as much as possible by secrecy.
|*||Sida — Foundation for International Developmental Cooperation Agency