Omar Mustafa says Islamophobia has become part of everyday life in Sweden. Photo: TT
Sweden has made global headlines this week after unknown suspects torched three mosques in different parts of the country. Coupled with a growing anti-immigrant sentiment flowing from the increasingly popular nationalist Sweden Democrat party, the head of Sweden’s Islamic Association says things are getting worse.
“The climate in Sweden is very serious right now and Islamophobia is getting stronger. And it’s not just on the internet, this is happening in real life,” he tells The Local.
Over a seven-day period, fires broke out in Eslöv, Eskilstuna, and Uppsala, with someone scrawling the words “Go home Muslim sh*t” on the main door of Uppsala’s mosque on Thursday…
Meanwhile, The Local also reports: Headlines across the world screamed this week that three mosques had been torched deliberately and journalists were quick to point out that rising tensions followed the nationalist Sweden Democrats doubling their support to 13 percent at the last election in September and record numbers of refugees arriving in the country.
On the home front there has been a mixed reaction to the attacks. Online forums saw some Swedes praising what had happened. It became clear that whether or not the attacks turned out to be proven hate crimes or the work of a few drunk vandals oblivious to where their firebombs were heading, there was a community delighted that sacred buildings had gone up in flames.
As The Local tweeted from the anti-racism rally in Stockholm designed to counteract the support for the violence, we were bombarded by Islamophobic replies, while racist comments flooded our comments section…
Tweets from the Local’s last story:
— Maddy Savage (@maddysavage) January 2, 2015
Knowledge is the best vaccination against prejudice, says the Democracy Minister. pic.twitter.com/JS9Cvah8A5
— Oliver Gee (@TheUppsalaKoala) January 2, 2015