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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Swedes Say No To Special Laws For Swedish Muslims

That was quick:
The Swedish government and moderate Muslims on Friday sharply rejected demands by an Islamic leader to enact special laws for Muslims living in the Scandinavian country.

Mahmoud Aldebe, head of Sweden's largest Islamic organization, SMF, said Muslims should be given time off work for Friday prayers and Islamic holidays and that imams should approve all divorces between Muslim couples.
"He is lucky if he speaks for 70 of his members," said Abd al Haqq Kielan, an imam who heads the Swedish Islamic Society, one of five national Islamic organizations.
"If you open the gate for separate laws for different minorities, where will it end?" he said. "We have to have one law for all citizens. That is so obvious that I don't understand how he can come up with such an idea."
The background:
Last week a Swedish Muslim group sent an open letter to Swedish political parties.The letter was briefly published on the web. The letter advanced a list of requirements as a condition for political support, which are barely touched upon in the Jerusalem Post article above. You can read the original letter in Swedish here, courtesy of Gates of Vienna. Other posts: SC&A. Gates of Vienna here and here. LGF here.

This is interesting because it was clearly an attempt at using the mechanisms of democracy against the political structure of a society. There are enough Muslims in Sweden to make them an important voting bloc to advance such issues. Their support in many districts could decide an election.

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