On the 25th of December 2014 a mosque in Eskilstuna went up in flames and 5 people were injured. Thanks to one incompetent police officer journalists quickly spread allegations that an arson was to blame and to their glee the fire was followed by two more. A couple of days later the police said that little evidence pointed to the mosque having been subject to arson but by then it was much too late.
It became an international sensation with people all over the world reading about the arson, right-wing hate crimes, nationalist parties in the BBC, Reuters, Huffington Post, New York Times and various other news outlets.
The New York Times wrote a big story with the alarming title: “In Sweden, the Land of the Open Door, Anti-Muslim Sentiment Finds a Foothold”. A number of individuals are interviewed such as Omar Mustafa, president of the Islamic Association of Sweden. Strangely the fact that he has been identified as the Muslim Brotherhood’s representative in Sweden is left out.
A couple of days later the story turned from sour to sweet when thousands of tolerant Swedes mobilized and held anti-racism rallies against Islamophobia united under the banner “Don’t touch my mosque”. Many decided to love-bomb mosques.
”This is what it looks like when hate is replaced by love”
The Eskilstuna Islamic Dawa Center thanked all the progressive Swedes for support on their Facebook page
“We want to thank all the people who came to Nyfors today and love-bombed the mosque which burned down. By doing so we showed support for the people who were in the local and practiced their fath when the mosque when the fire was set, for the people who were in the building when they were subjected to attempted aggravated arson and for all the devout Muslims who have a right to practice their faith in peace.
By reacting quickly to this undemocratic attack we also stood up for each other and the society we want to live in. A society were we can live together, as we are, on equal terms.
Unfortunately mosque attacks aren’t uncommon. This year apporximately one mosque a month has been attacked and regardless of the motive behind this fire attack on the mosque here in Eskilstuna yesterday is it is important that we pay attention to the increased Islamophobia in our society which in turn increases the number of hate crimes. It is therefore very important that we continue talking about what we can do to increase the security in Eskilstuna, and “Together for Eskilstuna” will continue to be part of that work.
In Eskilstuna we stand united for democracy, freedom of religion, and a society free from violence and the obvious right to live on equal terms. Thank you for showing that today.
Our action has gotten a lot of coverage in the media, below you can read several of the articles.”
Meanwhile, politicians realized that this was a great time to publicly condemn the gruesome deed and stand up against evil Islamophobes attacking innocent Muslims who merely wanted to pray in peace.
- “A loathsome deed and I hope the guilty will be arrested” – Minister of Justice & Migration, Morgan “only 1%” Johansson
- “Upsetting and sad with the arson on a mosque in Eskilstuna” – Left Party Leader, Jonas Sjöstedt
- “It’s a terrible, a terrible deed. We will never tolerate these sorts of crimes. People who are going to practice their religion shall have the right to do so.” – Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven.
The Minister of Culture took things one step forward by joining a manifestation in Uppsala and holding a speech condemning the arson as an attack on the Swedish constitution. She promised to counter Islamophobia and even met with some groups who claim to represent Swedens Muslims. The latter turned it to be a complete fiasco seeing as no one group can represent a global religion which is divided into so many different factions. To make things worse for Alice the individuals she did decide to meet with turned out to be representatives of the dodgy “Muslim Human Rights Council” An organisation that want to allow human rights… if they are in accordance with Sharia Law.
Some of us were not quiet so quick to jump to conclusions and the Sweden Report wrote a post early on questioning allegations of arson. The police did point out in December that there was no evidence of a firebomb and lets take a step back and consider whom benefits from an arson story? The official police investigation is still underway, almost 4 months later, but yesterday a source within a police department said that a deep fryer in the mosque was the root cause of the fire.
The news spread like wildfire on social media with various anti-racist campaigns being replaced with the theme of fryers, various opportunistic politicians being mocked for jumping to conclusions and an abundance of puns. I’ve taken the liberty of translating some of them below.
“Right now there are thousands of people who are finding out that they have gone on a torchlight procession against a fryer. I suffer with them” – Hanif Bali, politician from the New Moderates.
“What great timing, the Minister of the Interior visited Uppsala mosque today and talked about hate crimes. Has the frier been caught?” – anonymous Tweeter who was subsequently blocked.
“Now make sure to not to tar all fryers with the same brush! All fryers don’t burn down mosques!”
“It was one of these – an Islamophobic fryer – that torched the mosque in Eskilstuna. I understand why Löfven is silent.” – liberal blogger Rebecca Uvell in reference to the Prime Minister having previously condemned a fryer.
However, to my great dismay the fire department have today retracted claims that an Islamophobic fryer is to blame.
UPDATE 2015-03-13 – Police have come to the conclusion it was not arson attack.