Stockholm: Fighting Islamic fundamentalism

Stockholm: Fighting Islamic fundamentalism

See also:
* Sweden: Islamist radicalization, a problem denied
* Sweden: Short skirts against women's oppression

My name is Kadaffi Hussein and I'm 25. Social Democratic Women's chairwomen Nalin Pekgul wrote an article in DN Debatt on November 17 about my struggle to arrange parties with music in the Rinkeby community center.

I came to Sweden from Somalia as an 11 year old, and lived for several years in Rågsved. We were several friends who started a hip-hop group and moved to Rinkeby in 2005 since we wanted to launch among the Somalis there. We got to train in the community center but when we wanted to arrange parties a big group of religious men came and stood outside the community center and prevented girls from entering. For several years we tried to get help and support from the Swedish authorities, but nobody bothered about us. When we talk about religious control they don't seem to understand what we're talking about. The municipality gave money to the youth center which recruits youth to the extreme religious group al-Shabab.

Representatives for the religious groups have until now gotten jobs by the district board. They are too many tired agents in Tensta and Rinkeby who can't familiarize themselves with what type of organization they give money to. They believe all of those who say that they want to build bridges between society and their ethnic group. The truth is that they use the money to build walls to isolate their compatriots. The support of Swedish society to religious groups strengthened Muslim fundamentalists in Rinkeby.

Nalin Pekgul invited me to a seminar in Tensta Träff to talk about why I had gone through. One man who himself had been outside the Rinkeby cultural center and prevented youth from coming into the place, got up and said that that the reason that I didn't get to arrange parties was that I didn't get a police permit. Since then Mehmet Kaplan, parliament member for the Green Party, appeared on the radio and repeated the same lie. When the head of the community center, Kjell, called him after the program and asked how he could spread lies on the radio, he apologized and said that he believed what they had said at the seminar. I've never heard Mehmet Kaplan publicly apologize for spreading lies because he has too many links to them.

When the religious men understood that they couldn't lie that we didn't have police permission, they started to say that they were there so that 13 year olds couldn't mingle with 25 year olds. Since then the representatives for the Muslim Human Rights Committee were invited to the Debatt TV program and repeated the lies that we didn't get to organize a party since we wanted to mix 13 year olds with 25 year ols. The truth is that they, like the Whabbists in Saudi Arabia, think it's a crime to listen to music. Therefore they tell the youth that I will end up in hell.

The religious men are good at talking nicely to Swedish representatives and deceiving them. They enter all the political parties and create a position in society. One man from Rinkeby said on Somali TV that Swedish society can't force them to do anything. If they try, we will create our government in Rinkeby and everybody would obey us. So cocky and strong they felt.

But when Nalin Pekgul wrote the article in DN, many journalists got interested in what's happening in Rinkeby, but it also led to a debate among the Muslims in Rinkeby and Tensta and suddenly people dared question the position fundamentalists created for themselves. Before people thought here that it was just the way things were that they didn't have the same rights as other people in Sweden. The recent debate and discussion really weakened the fundamentalists and now nobody dares say publicly that people shouldn't listen to music.

Two weeks ago there was a demonstration against al-Shabab in Rinkeby Torg (Square) and though it was cold, close to a hundred people came to the square to protest against the extreme Muslim organization. The more there are who dare talk about the problem, the more there will be who join the good forces. Monday evening we organized a party in Rinkeby's community center with music and dancing. Mona Sahlin came to the party and surprised everybody when she started dancing Somali dancing with them. A woman was so happy to see Mona Sahlin that she threw herself at her and said "I think I will die tonight, it's so great for me that you are here."

I understand her, just for the women's sake it means a lot that such a top representative of society and the perhaps the future prime minister, takes the time and comes to Rinkeby to a Somali party where women and men dance together. Nothing strengthens women so much in their struggle against the religious men like Mona Sahlin clearly showing that all people have a right to party and have fun.

Many believe that it's too late to do anything about areas like Tensta and Rinkeby, but I believe they are wrong. It is possible to reverse the trend if politicians want and I saw yesterday, when Mona Sahlin came to us. We were several people who talked about our situation and I could see how engaged and affected she became by what we said. Sometimes politician alos need to see what we're talking about with their own eyes. What she showed by her presence is that we are a part of Sweden, and nobody will believe that they will prevent us from our human right to dance and sing. Thank Mona Sahlin for supporting our right to dance and have fun!

Source: Newsmill (Swedish)

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