Last week the Malmö municipality decided that a new “Islamic Center” will be built next to Östra Kyrkogården- Rosengård, in Malmö. According to its project leader, Khalil Assi, this will be a leisurecenter and should not be called a mosque. Still, according to the blueprints of the center--which will be able to host some 1500 people--about half of its 2 500 square meters (nearly 27,000 square feet) are dedicated to a two-story prayer hall.
Malmö's current only official Mosque
The new Islamic Center was initiated by the Islamic Belief Association in Scandinavia (Det Islamiska Trossamfundet i Skandinavien (DITS). DITS is known for starting the Mohammed crisis with the support by the Imam Abu Laban. According to Inside Al-Qa'ida, by Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Abu Laban gave political and financial aid to the Egyptian terror organization Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya. Abu Laban lived in Denmark and had, before his death in 2007, encouraged his congregation to offer their lives as martyrs in the jihad struggle for the Palestinian cause.
The Belief Association in Scandinavia also cooperates with the Islamiska Kulturföreningen (Islamic Cultural Association) in Malmö, also known as the Abu Bakr As-Sideeq mosque. This is the same association which in 2009 had one of its branch mosques closed down by the Swedish Secret Police (Säpo) for preaching radical ideas. In this mosque one can frequently hear the preaching of Anas Khalifa, also known as Abu Malik, from Gothenburg's Bellvue Mosque. Anas Khalifa has been connected to Muslim Internet sites which preach Islamic messages of hatred and Jihad . He is also known for preaching Muslims intolerance towards Christians and Jews, and is a follower of the fundamentalist Salafi movement, whose exponents include the members of al Qaeda.
The project leader for the new “Islamic Center”, Khalil Assi, is a board member of the Islamic Belief Association. According to the blog Muslimska Friskolan, Assi has publicly promoted Jihad against both Israel and Denmark. He has also been a chairman of the Islamic Belief Association in Denmark where he worked together with the radical, shahid-promoting Imam Abu Laban.
The head of Malmö’s only official mosque Bejcat Becirov welcomes the new project. According to him, the new mosque is not seen as a competitor:
-“There are around 60,000 Muslims in Malmö today and our facilities are insufficient”.
With the new, “Islamic Center” in Malmö there will now be a common meeting ground for the more radical Muslims of Malmö to gather. Most of Malmö’s Muslims today choose not to attend religious services in the official Islamic Center’s Mosque, as many feel that sermons preached in the mosque are not politically or morally rigorous enough for them.
Rosengård in Malmö is becoming increasingly segregated and its Muslim youth are becoming more radical. The Malmö municipality, on the other hand, seems to think that the solution to the situation is to build a new mosque (center) funded by the Swedish tax payers. At all levels the city of Malmö has failed to integrate its large and growing Muslim sector, and perhaps has chosen not to do so. The Muslim population is increasing in influence as well in the city. By choosing to build a new mosque with more radical Muslim leadership, Malmö clearly shows its preference for capitulation, not integration with the growing Muslim radicalism that is already prevalent among Muslims in the city.