Persecution of Ex-Muslims (Sweden)
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"It is the duty of every Muslim to kill those who leave Islam." Stockholm Imam speaking on Radio Sweden calls on Muslims in Sweden to kill those who convert to Christianity. Authorities rule it as "not hate speech"
The program with the death threats against converts was broadcast by the Somali department of Radio Sweden and was a follow-up on a previous segment about a group of Christian Somalis who came to Rinkeby Square to evangelize. They also got to talk about it in the radio report.
"I was there when they preached about Christianity. I also spoke with the guys who converted," said Kenadid Mohamed, the reporter who did the segment.
Rinkeby is a suburb of Stockholm where many Somalis live, and the evangelizing Somalis got a crowd who understood the language.
"Some saw it as a provocation that they came and preached about Christianity outside the msoque during Ramadan," says Kenadid Mohamed.
He says that there were various feelings among the Somalis who were there. Many were surprised since it's unusual that Somalis are Christians. The reactions among the Somali audience were mixed. Some thought it was OK to hear a sermon and prayer in Somali and referred to Swedish freedom of religion.
Others were more provoked, which was reflected in the follow-up program when Radio Sweden's Somali department started a debate on the issue. Among the speakers was a Somali imam who said that it was the duty of every Muslim to kill those who left Islam. When the reporter questioned his statement, given that they're in Sweden, he was told that those who need more details could come to the imam's mosque in Rinkeby.
"You didn't think you were listening to Radio Sweden in the beginning," says a Somali who heard the program. He says the reporter should have stooped the statements. He also says that the imam referred to Christian Somalis as infidels.
Kenadid Mohamed, who did the first report on the Christian Somalis, says he understands that the imam interprets the Koran literally, which means it's not possible to convert from Islam.
"It is an approach that many believe in," says Kenadid Mohamed.
But he also says that there are major differences in opiinon among Somalis and that those who live in Sweden for a long time tend to think a little differently.
Markus Sand, a pastor in the Rinkeby International Community, was in the square when the Christian Somalis were evangelizing.
"None of them live in Rinkeby, and I think it would be quite dangerous for them," he says.
He says that one of the Somalis preached for 15 minutes, and that another offered prayer. After that several from the audience started an intensive discussion, before they left the square.
Q: Did they preach outside the mosque, as the reporter states?A: No, we stood on the other side of the square. At the place where we usually stand with our book stall. So we weren't outside the mosque, but the square is quite small.
The motivation for the decision not to open up an investigation into the matter was that the presenter protested against what the imam said immediately following the controversial statement.
. . .
"If an imam calls for other Muslims to kill converts, then we have a journalistic responsibility... If he didn't get any follow-up questions then we have failed in our journalistic responsibility," he said.
The Local, October 20, 2011