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BrKhalid
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« on: Sep 01, 2009 06:00 AM »

Iftar in Malmo
Issue 60 September




“Swedish Muslim leaders should exert their civil rights as citizens, take account of their politicians and show more courage to lead the community.” It was Ramadan and I had received an iftar invitation from the Mayor of Malmo in Sweden, home to the largest Muslim population in the country numbering more than 30,000 Muslims. I was asked to be the key note speaker where Muslim leaders of Malmo and the Mayor of Malmo were putting together their first ever iftar. Local dignitaries including community leaders and politicians were all present. After formal speeches, 20 minutes before iftar time, the food and drink arrived and within ten minutes it was all consumed by the hungry crowd.

 

When it was time to break our fast, the Muslim guests looked on in confusion as they realised there was nothing left to eat or drink– aside from wine and leftover scraps. I was saddened to see that the Muslim leaders from Malmo were not prepared to kick up a fuss and seemed happy to let it pass, but I was not having any of it. I looked around in search of an ally in my protest and found a British MP I recognised in the audience. I went up to her and explained the situation. Equally shocked, she accompanied me to speak to the Mayor. I said, “I am your guest and there are other Muslims in the gathering too. We have been fasting the whole day and in this iftar gathering we have no food. We are also shocked that there is only wine on the table.” He looked at me quizzically and said, “I do not understand what the problem is?” “The problem is”, I retorted, “it is Ramadan; we have been fasting the whole day, we do not drink alcohol because of our religious beliefs. In a gathering that is marking an Islamic practice, alcohol should never have been served.”

 

 The Mayor pointed to a gentleman and said, “He is my Muslim advisor and never mentioned this.” We all looked at the Muslim advisor who was holding a glass of wine. The British MP and I exchanged glances. She said diplomatically, “Maybe he forgot, Mr Mayor. But perhaps we could get some of the British Embassy staff to arrange some food for our guests”. He took this as an insult and retorted “No, if my guests are hungry I myself will arrange food for them, but I don’t understand why the British guests are making a fuss when the Swedish Muslim leaders are not complaining?” The MP replied, “Ajmal is British, he feels British and knows that his elected Mayor’s office would make every effort to be sensitive to his religious needs. If ever there was any failure, he also knows how to bring the Mayor to task!”


Our stern conversation was drawing a small crowd. A Swedish Minister nearby decided to join in on the debate. She said, “Well, when you are in Sweden you should embrace Swedish customs. We are a culturally sensitive nation and we respect people’s rights to practice their faith. It is rude of the British guests to protest in this manner!” I replied, “Precisely because of this attitude, those Swedish Muslim leaders are afraid to come forward and protest. They are not given the respect they deserve, they are marginalised and I believe your attitude demonstrates that they are not even accepted as equal citizens in Sweden.” There was a subtle nod of agreement from the British MP but she was extremely careful to maintain her diplomatic protocol.


The Mayor and the Swedish MP were lost for words when the British MP saved the day by saying, “Let us arrange some food for these hungry people”. At the same time, I felt sorry and angry for the Muslims present. I was sorry to see them suffer after a long day of fasting but I was angry for their submissiveness, allowing their elected politicians to get away with blatant discrimination. I wanted to lambast the minister and Mayor and more importantly, his Muslim advisor. I walked over to the Muslim leaders demanding to know why they were behaving so meekly. They should exert their civil rights as citizens and take account of their politicians.


As Swedish Muslim leaders they needed to show more courage to lead the community. Sweden is a beautiful country; a leading nation in building peace around the world. In my experience however, the Muslims’ inability to engage and integrate lies not only at the heart of discrimination and prejudice, but also in their own submissive nature. It was thoroughly disappointing. I should hope that this incident proves to be a learning curve amongst the Muslim community in Sweden as well as universally. As well as being Muslims, we are full-fledged citizens of our respective national origins and should never hesitate to defend our civil as well as basic human rights


http://www.emel.com/article?id=62&a_id=1488
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Halima
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 01, 2009 10:15 AM »

Disgusting behaviour!  And ignorance is certainly not bliss when it comes to religious sensitivities.

The Muslims should have declined the invitation if they had no idea what it entailed.

Quote
As Swedish Muslim leaders they needed to show more courage to lead the community. Sweden is a beautiful country; a leading nation in building peace around the world. In my experience however, the Muslims’ inability to engage and integrate lies not only at the heart of discrimination and prejudice, but also in their own submissive nature. It was thoroughly disappointing. I should hope that this incident proves to be a learning curve amongst the Muslim community in Sweden as well as universally. As well as being Muslims, we are full-fledged citizens of our respective national origins and should never hesitate to defend our civil as well as basic human rights

I wholeheatedly agree. 
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The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira

Fozia
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 01, 2009 10:31 AM »

salam


Personally I would never have accepted an invitation in Ramadan for Iftar if the food served was going to be haram. I'm pretty militant during Ramadan of all times about these things, why would I want to be sitting at the table where alcohol is being served and consumed.

The Muslims should have extended the invitation and shown the mayor what it is to be a host!

We used to organise one huge Iftar at college each year, every single non muslim would talk about it for ages afterwards and they'd look forward to it very eagerly.

I've never had a guest leave my house hungry or unhappy, I'd be a shocking hostess to allow it! Says it all really about 'Swedish culturral practices' if they entail insulting guests!


Wassalaam
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UmmMohamed
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 10, 2009 09:27 AM »

Salaam aleikum

This article is very interesting, I red it only a few days ago on the internet.

I am a Finnish Muslim that used to live almost all my life in Sweden and I really recognize the way swedes are in this article. No wonder that I  moved from Sweden to the UK. Undecided

The swedes think that if you dint take the customs they have you can leave the country no matter if you are born there. There are many young Muslims there that are born there really I feel sorry for them because they will never be accepted unless they are just like non Muslims, May Allah swt guide them and keep them on the right path.

There was a huge discussion not so long ago about Muslims because they made a program on TV called halal TV with 3 sisters that used the hijab.Just because they used them hijab they called them fundamentalists and never showed the 2 last parts. Lips Sealed  Sweden is not ready for Muslims. or to give us our rights. but in the law book we have our rights but not in reality. There is discrimination all over the country.
I could tell a lot of stuff about Sweden and how it is to live there but I a hm short of time now and it would be as long as a book... Cheesy

wasalaam
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BrKhalid
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 13, 2009 07:01 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

It's interesting to hear the perspective of a Swedish Muslim (not sure we've had a someone on the board from Sweden before Huh? )

It does sound like it's pretty hard to practice the religion there, I hope the UK is a bit better!!


Btw welcome to the board Sister and please post an introduction.  bro

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Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]

joakim
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 16, 2009 09:15 AM »

assalamu'alaikum wa rahmat allahi wa barakatuh sisters and brothers.

Br Khalid... finnish muslim is swedish muslim... ?? no offence ummmohamed  Smiley

anyways, straight to the topic.

I would like to know more about this original post. I live 20 kilometers from Malmö and have after reading the post been in contact with some active people in in the muslim community and also some leaders so to speak. None at all has heard a single word about this iftar, which they all find very strange, because of their involvement in the ummah in Malmö. If it occured, they all was sure they would have heard about it from somewhere, especially since all the different people they meet especially during ramadan whey they make iftar together in so many places. But none has ever mentioned this occasion taking place.

Especially since some of them are some kind of local leaders, imams etc, they think they would know if the mayor (we dont have mayor in sweden, but lets keep it this way to make it simple) and local authorities arrange something like this. One reason is because it would seem natural for example if the mosque in malmö was involved or informed etc. Malmö has only one mosque, the rest is basement facilities, basement mosques, musolahs, take your picks.

anyhow, who knows. it could have involved some sub group for example, like amahdiya etc. I have no clue.

but like I said, since I live here. i am curious of getting to the bottom with this, because if it DID occur, we indeed would like to get in touch with the local authorities and with the muslims involved.

so... any help is appreciated.

I used to post here under the name Abdul Hakeem Yaqin a few years ago. Well, not post very often actually, so I doubt anyone remember, me, it doesnt really matters, just wanted to say it.
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Hard2Hit
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Taubah


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« Reply #6 on: Sep 16, 2009 11:48 AM »

Salaams,

I used to post here under the name Abdul Hakeem Yaqin a few years ago. Well, not post very often actually, so I doubt anyone remember, me, it doesnt really matters, just wanted to say it.

I remember that name. Abdul Hakeem Yaqin : )

Dont recall any of your posts, but i'm sure there are people here with memories better than mine (A.Kathy for instance ; ) ), who might also recall you.

Wasalam.
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joakim
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 16, 2009 12:06 PM »

wa alaikum assalam.

oh, I indeed recall your name. Well, Im not surprised you dont recall any post, I made fewer than I have fingers, n mostly abt my cat. who became fifteen years old... and Im sure the others after the therapy manage to wash away any impression I might have given, so Im no longer part of their nightmares....


but I hope someone will be able to help or advice me how to shed light on this matter, the supposedly iftar in malmö.

by the way, a belated ramadan mubarak for everyone.
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BrKhalid
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 27, 2009 06:17 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro


Quote
Br Khalid... finnish muslim is swedish muslim... ??


Oops...I think I need to brush up on my scandanavian geography!!


[I hope calling a Finn a Swede or vice versa wasn't a really bad thing to do Huh?]


But anyway, welcome back Brother, and as for the article, I can't really help but maybe you should contact the magazine directly and ask them if they can provide any more information to you?
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Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]

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