In light of Sweden’s celebration of 500 years of independence, the left-wing populist newspaper Aftonbladet, through its editorial writer Noor Karim, is lobbying for the Stockholm mosque to be classified as a Swedish cultural heritage site.
“It is a beautiful building filled with colorful mosaics on the walls. An institution that creates community for hundreds of thousands of Muslims. An important part of Swedish culture for a large part of the population”, she claims.
The Schibsted newspaper’s editorial writer refers to MSB’s report that Sweden needs to strengthen its preparedness for cultural heritage in the event of war and argues that this should also include Muslim culture – and not just classic Swedish culture such as the regal ship Vasa or the art collections at the National Museum in Stockholm.
Karim claims that Muslims in Sweden would be more likely to feel “defensive about this country’s borders, values and identity” if the cultural heritage was more “generous” and “inclusive”.
She adds that there have indeed been Muslims in Sweden since the 1950s and that “almost ten percent of Sweden’s population are Muslims” today – but that, regrettably, Muslims are still not represented in Swedish cultural heritage.
“Perhaps not only churches should be part of the cultural heritage, how about including the Stockholm Mosque as something for the armed forces to protect if war comes”, she suggests, adding that Muslim culture is a very important part of Swedish culture.
“In the event that a war comes to Sweden, the Stockholm mosque should be protected. So that future generations will know that even in Sweden there was a living Muslim culture that was part of the community”, she concludes her editorial.