The Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden, Part Twelve

Many thanks to Gary Fouse for translating this article from the Swedish blog Ledarsidorna:

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Swedish History — A Summary

In March Bilan Osman of the ETC newspaper[1] promised a comprehensive examination article in ETC on the connections between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ibn Rushd Study Association and whether the Brotherhood was really an anti-Semitic organization. The question is relevant, since Culture Minister Jeanette Gustafsdotter (S) now appears to have begun an intimate working relationship with the Brotherhood’s main headquarters and core organization in Sweden.

Osman promises that the revelations will be dark, and she implies that the articles, or series of articles, will turn the current state of research on its head.

Osman tweet: In recent months I have found the truth in an examination that will soon be released by ETC. How is it that a Swedish study association is connected to a global agenda? And what do critics say? (among others, Magnus Ransdorp, with whom I have also spoken.)

Osman tweet: As I see it, there are many parallel discussions. What is the MB? Understandings of the MB draw on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. It is not a secret organization that infiltrates activities around the world. There is an actual organization in Egypt.

The question is relevant from several perspectives since the government now seems to embrace and take Stockholm’s mosque into its circle of advisors. Last Thursday Culture Minister Jeanette Gustafsdotter visited the mosque and was received by, among others, imam Mahmoud Khalfi, which was notes of by Sameh Egyptson and the opinion-maker Rebecca Uvell.

Indisputable regarding Muslim Brotherhood

That the Muslim Brotherhood’s organizational network is established in Sweden is indisputable today, and is substantiated by written documentary sources, as well as in statements by the network’s various representatives.

That the network constitutes a radicalizing environment should be seen beyond all doubt, and that Stockholm’s mosque, along with mosques in Vivalla, Gävle, and also Bellvue in Gothenburg, is among Sweden’s most radical environments, should also have been established. They all have a long history of not only anti-Semitic and misogynistic action, but all have, in one way or another, created environments for radicalization so that members of the congregation(s) have gone over to the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

Stockholm Mosque

In this context, Stockholm’s mosque has its own history that goes back to the early 1990s, where radicalization has always been present. The mosque, or its more formal term, Islamic Association in Stockholm, has made up the organizational hub from which the network has expanded.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and in connection with the fact that more people could travel the world unhindered, a meeting was held in 1990 between the Brotherhood’s North American network organization, CAIR[2], Council on American-Islamic Relations, at the Malmen Hotel in Stockholm. At the meeting were those who today can be described as all of the Brotherhood’s active Swedish cluster. The purpose of the meeting was to initiate a transfer of knowledge between CAIR and those who would become the Swedish network’s core on how an effective network of Brotherhood-controlled organizations could be built up in Europe and Sweden.

The final report was distributed and signed by Mehmet Kaplan, then 19 years old. A copy of this report will appear as one of the Brotherhood’s own documents in Johan Westerholm’s coming sequel to “Islamism in Sweden”, under the title, “Out of the Ashes”, whose release date will be sometime in August.

The result was, among other things, that the Islamic Association in Stockholm, founded in 1981, was given a clear role in the expansion, and had its premises in a basement at Ringvagen 137. This mosque came to include visitors and congregation members such as Mahmoud Aldebe, for a time the chairman of Sweden’s Muslim Council, SMR, and Mahmoud Khalfi, today the imam at Stockholm’s Mosque, as well as a number of known current associates of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden.

Mahmoud Aldebe, who later had a short stint in the Center Party, praised the mosque’s activity to The World Today‘s Marco Strömberg in an interview in the newspaper Magazinet in 1993, where it was revealed that Aldebe himself sold literature written by the founders of Hamas that, among other things, called for genocide of Jews. In the conversation, which was described afterward for Ledarsidorna, Aldebe described in detail the Brotherhood’s structure in Sweden as corresponding with what Johan Westerholm describes in “Islamism in Sweden”.

Aldebe would later write down and publish this description of the Brotherhood’s Swedish structure in 2013 on the webpage of al Noor in Arabic for the Arabic-speaking public. This description, written down and published, is consistent with how, among other things, MSB, Sameh Egyptson and Johan Westerholm would later come to describe the network and also, to a large extent, the financing stream where Aldebe especially emphasized Ibn Rushd’s function as a financial source.

Mahmoud Khalfi has, on several occasions, publicly acknowledged the Stockholm Mosque’s ideological affiliation with the Brotherhood. Among others, in ETC Newspaper and the Arabic-language Tunis News, which was revealed by Sameh Egyptson.

Mahmoud Khalfi

Islamic Association’s key role

In 1995 the Islamic Association of Stockholm proceeded to form the Islamic Association of Sweden as the Swedish umbrella organization for the Brotherhood’s network. From this organization was later formed the Ibn Rushd Study Association, the aid organization Islamic Relief Sweden, as well as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), which today has changed its name to the Council of European Muslims (CEM). All in conformance with the organizations’ own statutes, which clearly describe the founder or founding organization’s background.

FOIE/CEM is, according to the Brotherhood’s spiritual leaders, the Brotherhood’s European umbrella organization.

The network is held together with personal connections, and FIOE/CEM’s treasurer, among other things, sits on the governing board of Granhedsgården AB together with the Ibn Rushd chairman Zana Muhammad. Granhedsgården was acquired by Ibn Rushd for funding intended for public education but was transferred in 2015 — 50% — to the Islamic Association in Sweden (IFiS) which at the same time, was transformed into a foundation.

IFiS’ chairman at the time was Ibn Rushd’s rector, Omar Mustafa, who was also CEO of Granhedsgården AB. Today, Omar Mustafa is a board member of Islamic Relief Sweden.

Beyond what Rebecca Uvell recounts, there are a number of details about the activities of the Stockholm Mosque that can be said to buttress the image of its being one of Sweden’s most radicalizing Islamist environments. Several cases of fundraising collections for terror organizations have been revealed, as well as one of the mosque’s leading members joining the al-Nusra Front, which is a part of al Qaida in the Syrian civil war.

Stockholm Mosque’s clear link to al Qaida

Tarif al Sayyed Issa was open about his membership in the Brotherhood, just as open as imam Mahmoud Khalfi has been with the Stockholm Mosque’s belonging to the Brotherhood.

Tarif al Sayyed Issa left Sweden in 2015 to join the al Nusra Front and participated in, among other things, the battles for Idlib in Syria. This is described by al Sayyed Issa himself in an interview published by the Carnegie Middle East Center in 2015. At the same time as these battles, the front carried out ethnic cleansing of Christians in the city, where there are only two Christians, an older couple, of an estimated 2,000 Arab Christians murdered or driven out. There is nothing to indicate that Tarif al Sayyed Issa was a participant in the ethnic cleansing even if his role was as commander of one or several fighting units.

Tarif al Sayyed Issa died in a hospital in Turkey from the aftereffects of the wounds he received from a car bomb in 2018 in Idlib.

All of Tarif al Sayyed Issa’s sons are active in various ways in the mosque or in the network’s organizations that the Brotherhood has built up in Sweden.

There are other examples of just how radical the Stockholm mosque is.

Islamic Relief Sweden was founded by imam Haytham Rahmeh and the Islamic Association in Sweden in 1993. Islamic Relief was already included, from its founding, as a part of Islamic Relief Worldwide. Haytham Rahmeh was from the beginning imam at the Stockholm Mosque.

Before Rahmeh arrived in Sweden, he studied engineering in Bucharest. Rahmeh was sentenced in 1985 to ten years in prison for his participation in preparations to commit a terrorist crime, but was released and deported from Romania after paying the equivalent of €174,500. After this, he later showed up in Riga before moving to Sweden and becoming a Swedish citizen.

Today, Haytham Rahmeh, according to his own information, leads the Civilian Protection Committee in Syria and sits on the policy board of a group called Failaq Al-Sham FSA. In 2013 Expressen was able to reveal Rahmeh’s involvement in weapons smuggling.

Failaq Al-Sham is part of the larger Sham Legion, a legion with Sunni Islamist and Salafist groups. One of Failaq Al-Sham’s sources of income is the kidnapping of Christians. Failaq Al-Sham took part in battles around Idlib together with, among others, the Fath Army, where another of the Stockholm Mosque’s congregational members served as commander, Tarif al Sayyed Issa.

The Fath Army is also part of Al Qaida.

Another organization that Haytham Rahmeh can be said to have co-founded is “Muslim Women’s Association” (MKF) in 1995, where Haytham Rahmeh and his wife, Aiche, are both founders. Co-founders of MKF include Latifa Dridi, wife of current imam at Stockholm’s Mosque, Mahmoud Khalfi, and Lamia el Amri, today chairperson of Islamic Relief Sweden and vice-chairperson of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Lamia el Amri is also the activity leader for the Ibn Rushd Study Association.

All of these relationships and interdependencies are carefully described, not only in the Muslim Brotherhood’s own statements, but also through documents in the form of presentations like those of Mahmoud Aldebe on the Arabic-language website al Noor.

In other words, the state of knowledge about the activity of the Muslim Brotherhood’s activity in Sweden and its values is not only good, but also as to how the network’s organization and cluster came to be developed up to today. All described by the Brotherhood itself.

A state of knowledge that it is not reasonable that Culture Minister Jeanette Gustafsdotter would know when she visited the mosque last week.

Ledarsidorna has asked the culture minister for a comment, but she has not responded.

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Inset from Johan Westerholm:

Questions that the Culture Minister didn’t want to answer


I saw that Culture Minister Jeanette Gustafsdotter visited Stockholm’s Mosque on March 24.

Stockholm’s Mosque is, according to themselves, the fascist Muslim Brotherhood’s main headquarters in Sweden (Imam Mahmoud Khalfi himself in the ETC magazine 2014 and also Tunis News, same year).

Since its beginning in the early 1990s (initially, it was located at Ringvägen 137), among other things, it has sold literature that can be described as incitement against ethnic group(s), been the arena for the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Yussuf al Qaradawi, when in a sermon, he stated that Israeli civilians were legitimate targets for the Brotherhood’s armed struggle, as well as being a recruitment base for al Qaida.

What motivates the culture minister to give legitimacy to the mosque’s activity?

How does the culture minister view the above actual events, events and activities which undoubtedly took place, which the mosque hosted?

Best regards,

Johan Westerholm

1.   ETC is a left-of-center, feminist-oriented newspaper in Sweden specializing in investigative journalism.
2.   CAIR was officially founded in 1994. If the 1990 date of the Stockholm meeting is correct, I assume that the referenced meeting involved unspecified individuals later associated with CAIR. It is not clear. — translator

One thought on “The Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden, Part Twelve

  1. Lamia El Amri is a former member of the European Forum of Muslim Women, the female branch of the FIOE that often held itsannual meeting in Istanbul.
    She is is married to Temmam Asbai, a former chairman of Islamiska förbundet and representative of Ennahdha (the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia) in Sweden.
    Temmam Asbai is the son of Ali Al-Asbai, who was one of the founders of Ennahdha

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