The Muslim Brotherhood is creating a ‘parallel social structure’ in Sweden with the help of ‘political elites’ who foster a culture of silence, a damning government report has found.
The document claims that the Brotherhood is building a ‘parallel society’ within the Scandinavian country, which can help the Islamist group to achieve its ends.
Founded in 1826, the Muslim Brotherhood aims to organise Muslims politically in order to create a global, Sunni Islamic Caliphate.
The group is arguably the largest Islamist organisation in the world and has in the past been linked to mainstream Islamic institutions, including to the Muslim Council of Britain.
The organisation has been accused of fostering links to militants and is classed as a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The research focused on Muslim Brotherhood members both in Egypt and in Europe.
Publication of the damning document about the group has sparked a row in Sweden, with critics labelling the report ‘conspiratorial’ and claiming it misrepresents Islam.
The report, which was published on Friday, was commissioned by Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), which is part of the country’s Ministry of Defence.
The paper’s authors claim the Brotherhood is working to increase the number of practising Muslims in Sweden, which they say encourages tension with the secular society and puts community cohesion in jeopardy.
The authors also claim the organisation is targeting political parties, NGOs, academic institutions and other civil society organisations.
‘Islamists aim to build a parallel social structure competing with the rest of the Swedish society the values of its citizens. In this sense, MB’s activists pose a long-term challenge in terms of the country’s social cohesion’, the report says.
The document, edited by Magnus Norell, claims that as migration to the country increases, so the problems will intensify.
‘Migration from Africa and the Middle East is likely to continue in coming years, both in form of relatives and refugees’, it says.
‘Given that MB’s goal is to increase the number of practising Muslims in Swedish or European territory, there is a great likelihood that a ‘tug of war’ will occur between the majority community and the Islamic community with the MB’s encouragement.’
The report further claims that those who criticise the group run the risk of being branded racist or Islamophobic.
However, the publication has been heavily criticised, with a group of 22 academics and religious experts questioning the methodology of the research.
In a blog post they said the suggestion that criticism in Islam was difficult in Sweden is ‘almost conspiratorial’, and said past research had refuted the idea that the Brotherhood was building a parallel society.
The blog post, which has academics at some of Sweden’s top universities among its authors, read: ‘The [report’s] authors seem to conclude that Swedish Islam is a homogeneous phenomenon and that Swedish Muslims are led by the Muslim Brotherhood.
‘It is a conclusion that goes against the overall research, which rather points towards the Muslim community being diverse and there being competition between Muslim groups.’
In response the report’s editor, Magnus Norell, hit back at critics, telling public service broadcaster SVT: ‘Had they smoked something before they read it?
‘You just need to read the report. If someone doesn’t accept this, there’s not much I can do about it. It’s proven.’
Source: The Daily Mail
By: Hannal Al-Othman
8 March 2017