Sweden: Dealing with former GIA members

A new social pattern is emerging in Sweden. It is characterized by a mixture of religions and communities, while Islam is considered as the second main religion in this Scandinavian country, by 450 thousand Muslims.

However, it seems the Swedish Government is being involved in a complicated issue, called migrant communities, following the increasing number of Arab migrants, including Iraqis, Somalis and Algerians. El Khabar has paid a visit to main refugee camps in Stockholm and interviewed more than a minister in the current Government. They all admit that the fate of those communities is being debated, while emphasizing on required mechanism to integrate them in the society.

Until recently, Sweden was not an attractive destination for Arab nationals. Yet the majority of refugees in Sweden say they left their homelands because their lives were in danger in there, the majority of which are Iraqis, Somalis and Algerians.

Algerians: a minority inside minority, and GIA in minds

It is not easy in Sweden to meet an Algerian influential personality among the numerous Islamic organizations existing there. Sheikh Hassan Moussa, the Head of the Swedish Council of Imams, originated from Algeria, mentioned that several Algerians who used to belong to the Islamic Armed Group (GIA) in Algeria in the nineties are members in some associations in Sweden.

Sweden's Immigration Minister confirmed to El Khabar their existence, and although a responsible official in the Mosque of Stockholm assumed that they are "rather moderate," the Swedish Minister said: "the Government tends making sure preventing them promoting any antagonist project to the Government's point of view." The same source further mentioned that GIA's former members exist in other big cities in Sweden, such as Malmo, which embraces the majority of Islamic associations. In turn, Abdellah Salah, a Tunisian originated, admitted that some nationals and refugees in Sweden, without specifying their origins, adopt Jihadi and extremist ideas, pointing out: "our duty is promoting moderate Islam, and the majority of the Islamic community nationals have adopted it."


Source: El Khabar (English)

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