Forserum, South-central Sweden, 28 Rabiul Akhir 1434/10 March 2013 (MINA) – Swedish Muslims are afraid to send their children to schools to avoid verbal and physical abuses, they are criticizing their government for failing to stop discrimination against the religious minority.
“Forserum really showed what proportions Islamophobia as well as Afrophobia can take when an entire town looks on as people have their human rights violated,” Kitimbwa Sabuni, the editor of a recent report on anti-Muslim discrimination, told The Local newspaper.
Forserum, in south-central Sweden, has seen several attacks on Somali immigrants in the city. The attacks have left many Somalis fearful of sending their children to school to avoid further abuses, according www.islamstory.com reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Sunday.
A report, by the Network of Swedish Muslims, called on the government to order an investigation into how local authorities failed to help Somali migrants.
“Not everyone partook in the abuse, but many silently witnessed it and the authorities were passive,” Sabuni said.
The report, which came to light in cooperation between several associations, was submitted to the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
It warned that Sweden was failing to tackle discrimination against Muslims, citing prejudices facing ethnic Swedes who convert to Islam, especially from their families. “We’re talking not only about excommunication, but also threats and violence that many converts tell us about,” Sabuni said.
For instance, one father, based in the US, reported his daughter who reverted to Islam to the FBI, which led to her being questioned by the Swedish intelligence service Sapo.
The report also highlighted the housing segregation facing Muslims in Sweden.
It suggested that the problem could in part be solved by allowing Islamic banking, which forbids interest rates, which could unlock flat and house ownership for many Swedish Muslims.
The report asked the government to give funds to Muslim congregations to secure their safe operations, citing statistics that showed Muslims receive less funding through community associations than other groups.(T/P05/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)