After one mosque was set ablaze on Christmas Day in Eskiltuna, two others have been targeted by suspected arsonists in the southern town of Esilöv on December 29 and in Uppsala on New Year’s Day, reports Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest daily.
The attacks against three mosques took place within a week. The far right Sweden Democrats caused a political crisis that would have required the minority government of Stefan Löfven to call snap elections in March. An agreement announced on Saturday between the government and opposition parties helped call off such elections.
Apart from being a direct attack against religious freedom in Sweden, the suspected arson attacks are a direct threat to Sweden’s cultural and ethnic diversity.
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Elvir Gigovic, chair of the Muslim Council of Sweden, told The Guardian that the spate of attacks against Muslims in 2014 was systematic. Justice Minister Morgan Johansson described the Eskilstuna fire as a “heinous atrocity” that was nothing more than violence directed against the Muslim community.
Expo, an anti-racism NGO, claimed that there have been at least 13 suspected arson attacks against mosques in Sweden this year alone.
The fact that a handful of people are taking the law in their hands and committing acts of violence against a religious groups should be enough proof of the ugly face of intolerance but our resolve to not be intimidated by vigilante style violence.
We hope the authorities in Sweden capture the perpetrators soon.