On April 28, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of the State of Qatar opened the Umm Al-Mu'minin Khadijah Mosque in Malmö, Sweden. Qatar -- the epicenter of Muslim Brotherhood and the base of its proselytizing megaphone, Al Jazeera -- paid more than 3 million euros to build the mosque, which is almost 2,000 square meters and accommodates up to 2,000 people, making it the largest mosque in Scandinavia.
One astonishing fact about this new mega-mosque is that, according to Swedish mainstream media, the opening never happened. Not a single Swedish news outlet mentioned the opening. Swedish authorities were also completely silent on the topic. On her Facebook and Twitter accounts, Malmö's Mayor, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, wrote about the opening of a new office for army recruits in Malmö and the Swedish coast guard moving its activities to Malmö harbor, but failed to mention the opening of the largest mosque in Scandinavia. The website of Malmö municipality was also silent on the topic.
For information on what goes on in Sweden, therefore, one has to turn to Qatar News Agency, which reported:
"Director of the Islamic Affairs Department at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Khalid Shaheen Al Ghanim said that the mosque was built and furnished by the State of Qatar at a cost of over 3 million euros, under the supervision of the Ministry of Awqaf and in collaboration with the Wakf of Scandinavia in Malmo, Sweden
"He added that the Umm Al-Mu'minin Khadijah Mosque is the largest mosque in Scandinavia and is located on the first and second floors of the four-story building of the Wakf of Scandinavia in Sweden. The mosque is equipped with facilities for people with special needs to perform prayers and others for children and women.
"The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of Swedish local authorities, representatives of Islamic institutions in Sweden and Denmark, as well as a number of businessmen."
The organization in Sweden behind the mega-mosque is the Swedish Wakf, better known as the Islamic Community of Malmö. In its statutes, the Swedish Wakf describes itself as a "religious and cultural community, registered as an ideal institution", and "politically independent".
The neighbors of the mega-mosque, which was never supposed to be a mosque, according to the Wakf's own application for building permits, but merely a "cultural center" (the application talks about "an activity center for youth and families in Malmö with a focus on Rosengård"), protested when they learned of the plans in 2010. The Malmö municipality brushed them off. "It is like any congregational activity, and I find it hard to see that there should be anything to worry about", said Dick Johansson, representing Malmö municipality, at the time.
As it turns out, there is a great deal to worry about.
Several of the Swedish Wakf's members come from the Swedish Islamic Cultural Association, whose spokesman and front figure, Ammar Daoud, was described by Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan in an article from 2006, as the "apprentice" of the Danish imam Abu Laban. Laban, who died in 2007, was known for his jihadist connections and for instigating riots in the Muslim world against Denmark after the 2005 publication of the Mohammed cartoons in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten. He led his own Danish Wakf -- Danish Islamic community -- in Copenhagen.
Laban declared Sayid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood's chief ideologue, to be his role model, and was a frequent guest preacher at one of the basement mosques of the Swedish Cultural Association in Rosengård (a crime-ridden, infamous no-go zone in Malmö).
Already in 2006, Abu Laban told the daily Sydsvenskan that he wanted to "help" his Swedish Muslim friends establish a new mosque. Abu Laban and Ammar Daoud were unhappy with the existing mosque in Malmö, Islamic Center Mosque, which Abu Laban derisively labelled "Islam-light".
In 2010, Khaled Assi, head of the Swedish Wakf (a position he still holds today), told a Swedish journalist that he was "inspired" by Abu Laban and his Wakf in Denmark. When the journalist asked Khaled Assi whether his organization was in fact building a mosque, he told her that "there already is a mosque in Malmö" and that the "cultural center" would just contain a "small prayer room". Asked about the financing of the project, Assi said that the Wakf was "unassociated with any organization" and that all financial contributors were "individuals from Malmö and Skåne", although they would also approach "individuals" abroad.
At the opening of the mega-mosque of the Wakf on April 28, Malmö City Councilor Frida Trollmyr gave a speech in which she continued to use the term "cultural center", never using the word "mosque", as if -- Soviet style -- the use of certain words could alter reality:
"In many ways, this cultural center is unique but at the same time it is one of many meeting places that has contributed to the diversity that has made Malmö into the city it is today. We Malmöites know what this diversity entails and all its strength -- it is that which has made Malmö into the city it is today."
Trollmyr's speech will go down in history as the moment Malmö municipality finally submitted completely to Islam.
When the Swedish independent news site, Samtiden, tried to reach Trollmyr for comment on how the new gender-separated mosque corresponds to Swedish values about gender equality, about Trollmyr's views on the financing of mega-mosques by foreign dictatorships, and what this entails for Malmö with regards to radicalization, Trollmyr's secretary informed Samtiden that the politician did not have time to answer the questions.
In the former democracy of Sweden, politicians are no longer answerable to the citizens, and can apparently cover up whatever topics they choose, no matter how detrimental to the people who elected them. The mainstream media willingly collude with the authorities by uniformly ignoring the issue.
One would have thought, however, that at least one mainstream Swedish journalist would be interested in uncovering the cover-up of the Swedish authorities. Here are some of the many unanswered questions:
How did a project that the Malmö municipality approved as a "cultural center" end up as the largest mosque in Scandinavia?
How did an organization, the Swedish Wakf, which is supposed to be "politically independent", and which said it was collecting its financing from local Muslims, end up having its mosque bought and paid for by Qatar, the primary exporter -- along with Saudi Arabia -- of Wahhabism in the world?
When did Sweden become a province of the dictatorship of Qatar, where the presence of Qatari government officials at the opening of a Qatari-funded mosque in a major Swedish city does not elicit the slightest media attention, let alone criticism, as if this kind of occurrence were the most routine order of the day? Instead, the only Swedish reaction is an embarrassingly sycophantic speech by a representative of the Malmö municipality.
In short, when did the Swedish population vote to become a Qatari protectorate?
Editor's Note: On the same day that Gatestone Institute published this article, May 17, 2017, two news outlets in Sweden published reports about the Umm Al-Mu'minin Khadijah mega-mosque.
Malmö, Sweden. (Image source: David Ramos/Getty Images)
John Richardson is a researcher based in the United States.