On Wednesday, on the initiative of the Gothenburg Mosque and the Frölunda Multicultural Association, thousands of Muslims gathered to “showcase cultural differences in Gothenburg to the whole world” and to say the Eid prayer together.
“National Day, Midsummer and Walpurgisnacht. Slottsskogen is a place for traditional celebrations and now a new tradition can possibly be added to the list”, writes Göteborgsposten, pointing out that this is the first time ever that thousands of Muslims have gathered in Slottsskogen to perform religious rituals together.
– On this day, we were able to showcase cultural differences in Gothenburg to the whole world, says Mohammad Aurangojeb, President of the Frölunda Multicultural Association, proudly.
Eid prayers are considered an important part of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and are traditionally performed outdoors.
– After Eid al-Fitr, I contacted the City of Gothenburg to find out what kind of permit we needed to pray in Slottsskogen. We sent in an application and we filled in forms. We were granted permission so we are very grateful to the City of Gothenburg and the police for giving us this opportunity where thousands of people could pray in the same place, Aurangojeb explains
Slottsskogen kl 8 imorse. Detta är bara försmak av de 40 minuter jag filmade. Det andra är riktigt scary shit.
Ca 7000 salafister av 15 000 aktiva i Göteborg dök upp. Detta var ingen Eidbön utan en maktdemonstration. pic.twitter.com/ULtEIn8bDR
— Mats Maciejewski (@hogerborgare) June 28, 2023
Traditionally, animals are supposed to be slaughtered during the Muslim holiday, but this was not done by the Muslims in Slottsskogen due to Swedish legislation.
– The tradition is to slaughter yourself and distribute to neighbors and friends. We have to buy in the shop instead, explains Faraj Semmo, CEO of the Gothenburg Mosque.
According to the organizers, the gathering of thousands of Muslims in the “heart of Gothenburg” has great symbolic value, drawing parallels with the Swedish Midsummer celebrations and hoping that it can become a recurring Gothenburg Muslim tradition to hold prayer time in Slottsskogen.
– We would like to continue being outdoors every year and show the whole world what great freedom we have in Gothenburg, says Aurangojeb.