Sweden nixes special laws for Muslims

Proposed laws: Muslims let off work on Friday, imams to OK Muslim divorces.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 28, 2006 18:30
1 minute read.
palestinian women covered

palestinian women 298 88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The Swedish government and moderate Muslims on Friday sharply rejected demands by an Islamic leader to enact special laws for Muslims living in the Scandinavian country. Mahmoud Aldebe, head of Sweden's largest Islamic organization, SMF, said Muslims should be given time off work for Friday prayers and Islamic holidays and that imams should approve all divorces between Muslim couples. His proposals, presented in a letter Thursday to Sweden's parliamentary parties, were rejected as "completely unacceptable" by Sweden's Integration Minister Jens Orback. They also elicited a flood of criticism from moderate Muslims who said they were content with living under Swedish laws. "If we are going to live here, we should adapt to the laws that exist - we should not have a separate law just because we have a different faith," said Mariam Osman Sherifay, a Muslim lawmaker with the governing Social Democratic Party. Aldebe's letter also called for laws reserving public swimming pools to women one night a week, as many Muslim families forbid their daughters from bathing with boys for "ethical and religious reasons." "Many Muslim girls finish their high school education without knowing how to swim at all," Aldebe wrote. Other demands included giving imams the right to teach religion to Muslim children in public schools, and providing special burial grounds for Muslims. Aldebe, whose organization has 70,000 members, backtracked on his proposal Friday, telling Swedish Radio he only meant Swedish laws should be adjusted to make Muslims feel safe in society. Many Swedish Muslim leaders distanced themselves from Aldebe's demands, saying they had little support among Sweden's estimated 400,000 Muslims. "He is lucky if he speaks for 70 of his members," said Abd al Haqq Kielan, an imam who heads the Swedish Islamic Society, one of five national Islamic organizations. Kielan called the proposals "absurd," adding that they would lead to "a sort of Mullah-rule that people are scared of." "If you open the gate for separate laws for different minorities, where will it end?" he said. "We have to have one law for all citizens. That is so obvious that I don't understand how he can come up with such an idea."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A Hezbollah member carries his weapon on top of a building on May 25, 2016.
November 19, 2018
Mossad reportedly provides intelligence to thwart Hezbollah plot in Argentina

By YVETTE J. DEANE