Sweden: Mosque to Blast Prayer Calls from Minaret

Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, October 1, 2012

When told that Sweden is historically a Christian country, Okur responded, “So perhaps it was before, in the 1930s and 1940s. Now it is a new era.”

A mosque in Stockholm has received initial approval to begin sounding public prayer calls from its minaret, the first time such permission has ever been granted in Sweden.

A majority of the members of the city planning committee in the southern Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka voted on September 25 to repeal a 1994 prohibition on such prayer calls, thereby opening the way for a muezzin to begin calling Muslims to prayer from the top of a 32-meter (104-foot) minaret at a Turkish mosque in the Fittja district of the city.

The issue was put to a vote after Ismail Okur, the chairman of the Botkyrka Islamic Association (Islamiska föreningen i Botkyrka), filed a petition with the city in January demanding permission to allow public prayer calls at the mosque.

In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Dagen, Okur said earlier generations of Muslim immigrants “did not dare” to press the issue, but that he represents the “new guys” who are determined to “exercise their right to religious freedom” in Sweden.

Okur said: “We have lived our whole lives in Sweden. We have paid taxes. We have been exemplary citizens. We have given a lot to Sweden. Now we want to get a little back. Now we want to have religious freedom.”

The planning commission’s decision to repeal the ban will now be considered by the executive board of the city council on October 25. If the board approves, the mosque will be allowed to start sounding the call to prayer effective immediately. The decision is especially significant because it will set a precedent for all of the 200 other mosques in Sweden.

In an interview with Swedish Public Radio, Okur said his initial objective first and foremost was to obtain permission to make prayer calls every Friday in connection with Friday prayers “to begin with.” He said: “It feels great that we have been through this, that we get a call to prayer for our big day on Fridays.”

According to Dagen, Okur does not rule out eventually having a muezzin making prayer calls seven days a week. “We have to start somewhere,” he said. “It would have been too much to begin with. If the proposal goes through, it is about once a week, maybe 1-2 minutes. It is actually not much.”

If the city does not grant permission for the mosque to make public calls to prayer every Friday, Okur says he will seek permission for having a muezzin on the first Friday of each month. If that does not work, he will seek to get permits for two public prayer calls per year.

The Socialist Mayor of Botkyrka, Katarina Berggren, said the main issue is whether the noise level of the muezzin would violate the security provisions of the city’s Environmental Code. She added that the city’s Environment and Health Committee do not see the noise as a problem, and that therefore the ban would not stand up to a legal challenge. As a result, she said, the municipality cannot prevent the muezzin from calling the faithful to prayer.

The Christian Democrats were the only party to vote against allowing the mosque to make prayer calls. Stefan Dayne, a Christian Democrat member of the Botkyrka city planning committee who voted against lifting the ban, told Dagen that the other parties “were afraid” to uphold the ban for fear of “losing votes from Muslims here in Botkyrka.”

Dayne also said: “We have nothing against religious freedom. We are for freedom of expression. And we have nothing against Muslims. But we do not think local government has the competence to rule on the muezzin. It is a message that is being proclaimed which may offend other groups and therefore we see it as a police matter.”

According to Dayne, the Botkyrka police regulations include a clause which states that “propaganda targeted at people in public places cannot be done through loudspeakers or the like without the permission of the police.” Instead of muezzin, he believes that there are alternative ways to remind Muslims to attend Friday prayers.

When asked about the difference between a muezzin calling Muslims to prayer and Christian church bells that ring, Dayne responded: “It is not just a sound, without a message being proclaimed.”

Not surprisingly, Okur disagrees: “It’s great! The prayer call is for us like ringing bells are for churches. It’s important.”

When told that Sweden is historically a Christian country, Okur responded: “So it was perhaps before, during the 1930s and 1940s. Now it is a new era. We are more than 100,000 [sic] Muslims in Sweden. Should we not have our religion as well, especially here in Botkyrka, where we are so many?” (Although there are no official statistics of Muslims in Sweden, the U.S. State Department reported in 2011 that there are in the country between 450,000 and 500,000 Muslims, making up around 5% of the total population.)

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  • Whites have so civilized themselves to the point where they no longer have the instincts to protect themselves or protect what they have built.

    • RisingReich

       Isn’t ‘civility’ just super fantastic?

  • David Ashton

      In England the ringing of church bells at an unusal time used to be the signal of foreign invasion, but I read not long ago that this practice was formally discontinued.
      Legislation to ensure that such public announcements must be only in Swedish and below a certain decibel level might help. 
       Another idea is leafleting and placarding with accurate translations of anti-Christian and violent sentiments from the Koran and Hadith.

  • jedsrael

    This is how White Swedes will prove to the UN their own superiority to the Islamphobics who hate tolerance and inclusion.

  • Kronolog

    To be fair, this district, Fittja, is already a Muslim colony and as such few Swedes would probably be troubled directly by the muezzin’s call for prayer. It is a problem of principle (though no-one dares to admit this), namely, should the will of the majority take precedence over the will of the natives?

  • The Viking ancestors of the Danes, Norwegians and Swedes (as well as a large component of the English, Scots, Irish, and Norman French….) used to go down to Constantinople to serve as part of the Greco-Roman (Byzantine) Emperor’s Elite Varangian Guard…  According to the Sagas it was the Eastern Norse, the ancestors of the Swedes, who first offered their services to the latest of the Caesars.  I can’t help but wonder what the ghosts of the thousands of Varangian Guardsmen think now—It was bad enough that they could not defend their Emperor and finally lost Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.  The Austrians and Venetians defended Western Europe for the next 400 years.  But now the original homeland of the Varangian guard in Stockholm is to echo with the sounds of the enemy’s calls to prayer?  I don’t get it.  I just don’t get it.  Islam has been trying to Conquer Europe for 1400 years now….and they are finally going to succeed?  Europe will become the Final Caliphate?  It seems inconceivable to me.  It’s not that there’s absolutely nothing good about Islam or Arabic culture—-they were good astronomers and kept Classical learning alive in Baghdad, Cairo, Cordoba, Damascus and even in Istanbul for a long time, but the cost in human suffering in Europe and the loss of the dominant Greco-Roman Christian cultures of Egypt, the rest of North Africa and the Near East was among the greatest tragedies of history.  The Mughal architecture of India is beautiful.  But why would the Europeans surrender when there’s no need to do so?  Have we all forsaken the blood shed by and wisdom accumulated by our ancestors?  Can the descendants of the Varangian guard really surrender their homeland to Islam now?

    • OBSERVER

      Islam is not a religion.  It is a military doctrine.

      The child rapist, Mohammed, invented Islam so as to conquer.  He tried other “religious” methods but none of them worked until he combined GOD with Beheading.

      Very smart, Very good, Very clever. Very effective.

      The Christian mistake was combining GOD with the burning garbage dump out-side the walls of Jerusalem  (now called “hell”) which is an after life punishment.  Mohammed was smarter than Christ and put the punishment for not “believing” into TODAY.

      Submit (islam) to GOD or we chop your head off is far more effective than, “believe in me or you go to hell, later, maybe, someday”.

  • Athling

    Ethnic cleansing through acoustic device. A common technique used to drive the natives out of their neighborhoods.

  • Diamond_Lil

    My husband was in Iraq for several years.  He said that NOTHING was worse than that gawd awful shrieking and wailing, not even 140 degree temps in full body armor. 

    • OBSERVER

      I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon.  To me the sound was the sound of hell.

      It was having to listen to that crap for years that taught me religion was insane. 

      Yours is too.

  • ShoutsAtTV

     Freezing their F’nortnors off I’d say.

  • MartelC

    Ringing of church bells is forbidden by Islam.

  • MartelC

    The ringing of church bells is forbidden by Islam – that is why Queen Isabella would always have a bell tower set up during a siege. It was her way of sending a message – that Christians were taking back the cities the Moors had taken from them, and they were here to stay.

    …Meanwhile in Sweden, the call to prayer will sing out over stockholm – a heralding of the silencing of church bells to come.  The left, of course, is always all too happy to help out, having jailed a swedish minister who dared read a passage from Romans. 

  • RisingReich

    I believe that all of this is leading up to some horrific violent episode.  It’s just not natural to stuff this kind of resentment down.  Trust me, resentment this will breed…maybe as fast as the islamic invaders breed.

    Someone, someday is going to blow those speakers sky high, the towelheads will erupt, and BOOM – mass unrest.

  • IstvanIN

    But the Swedes insist their monarch be a Lutheran.  Why?  

  • Sloppo

    They’re having lots of children, raping “infidel” women, dominating street crime, and collecting welfare payments from Swedish taxpayers.  In other words, they’re following the example of the “prophet”.

    • OBSERVER

      In the very near future, and even today, the Swedes are going to get what they deserve.

      Their nation, once peaceful, prosperous and white, is going to be an Arab Toilet.

  • If they are from Turkey, then they should get the same religious rights that non-Islamic religions “enjoy” in Turkey.

    • Sloppo

      They believe Muhammad is humanity’s highest example, so we should treat them the way Muhammad treated Christians and Jews.

  • No tolerance for the intolerant, no freedom for the enemies of freedom.

  • MikeofAges

     The big lie. They lived their entire lives in Sweden and have received the opportunity to be exemplary citizens in a well-ordered society where they have enjoyed religious freedom. Time for them to give something back, back as in beginning the much-needed reformation of their religion and ethnic culture.

  • David Leafgreen

    Goodbye Sweden, it was good to know ya, and likewise goodbye Europe.  You had a good run, but your model did not prove viable in the long run.  And from what I have noticed, greed is the white man’s greatest weakness, and what is going to lead to his ultimate demise.  

  • OBSERVER

    Mohamed was gay.

    He did little boys as well as little girls.

    Islam, “submit”, can mean many things to the blessed and holy.

  • Guest

    It’s only fair as other religions enjoy similar rights and privileges in Muslim countries. What’s that? No, they don’t? Oh. Well… diversity tolerance islamaphobes racist religion-of-peace.

  • OBSERVER

    Here is an idea for the WHITE Swedish people  (actually, the adjective “WHITE” is not needed since only WHITE people can be Swedish)

    When the invaders start up their cat screeching,  HONK YOUR CAR HORNS. 

    Every Swede (white person) should just lay on their horns.  The State will outlaw Christian Churches from ringing bells  (that is hate speech) , but how can they stop thousands of Swedes  (whites) from blasting back?

    This is something we need to get out since very, very soon we in America will have to endure the agony of Islamic noise.

    • Actually, the only valid WHITE thing (that is, Christian, because only Whites can BE Christians) would be to tear it down, and burn the site. Just as St. Boniface chopped down the Pagan’s ‘sacred oak,’ so, too, the White Christians of Europe should be willing to risk everything to turn back the tide. Gates of Vienna, indeed.

      • Observer

        The Vikings should have chopped up St Boniface and kept the Oak of Odin.

  • 1gravity

    Although not addressed in the article, I suspect that a significant and representative cadre of local Christian clergy lobbied and/or testified for allowing the weekly call to prayer.  Most clergy regard race realism, AmRen style, as a kind of ungodly hate, and will preach that view to their congregations.  Just as important, most churches will not tolerate open discussion of race realism.  I think we overlook how integral much of the institutional church is to maintaining anti-White activities.

    One more point:  let us not forget the intensity with which Muslims practice their religion.  In my town, for example, you can see a row of double parked taxicabs outside the local mosque, a converted Christian church, every morning at 6:00 a.m.  This is real, and these guys play for keeps.

  • Invictus_1

     You may be inadvertently referencing Edward Gibbon’s “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” where among other chief causes, he demonstrates how Christianity worked toward that decline and fall.  Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  • King Gustavus Adolphus, return and restore your erring and sinful people.
    Pray for them, for their error is great.

    http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com/2011/11/monarch-profile-king-gustavus-adolphus.html
    (And I say this, as an Orthodox priest!)

  • Michael C. Scott

    Obama didn’t build that.

    I did.

    I disagree to one extent, and that is plenty of Americans and Britons (the white ones) and Australians still think the way I do.

  • Invictus_1

    The price of empire is a kind of “globalization” I suppose, but Rome was hardly a modern global government, so using the word is a bit misleading and perhaps silly. If you read up on history of the period, human movement was always brisk in the Mediterranean region; people moved, traded and mixed, long before Rome.

    Much had occurred by the time of the 4th century acceptance of Christianity by Constantine, but it was precisely the Christian problem that contributed (mostly) to the fall. This is according to Edward Gibbon’s classic “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Aside from the political wars – which included for example Pauline Christians poisoning Arius before Constantine could re-confirm him as a recognized Christian leader (Constantine was himself an Arian Christian,not Pauline), Christian fear mongering coincided with plagues of malaria and the mismanagement of the army, invasions of Huns from the East and the resultant forced movement of indigenous populations, principally, the Germanic Gothic tribes, which led to chaos and rebellion when recruited Germanic tribes were not paid or even settled as promised. That had little to do with the fact that its leaders where Germanic by then. The darkness that subsequently covered Europe was caused by Christian fear and expectations of the end which caused purge after purge, including the 4th century events in Alexandria, Egypt where Hypatia was so horrendously murdered by Christians. You must read real history, not the apologists.

    BTW, Orthodox Christianity is not Catholicism. You are either one or the other, not both. Orthodox refers to either the Greek Orthodox Church or the Russian and others such as the Serbian, not Pauline Catholicism. Perhaps you are a conservative Catholic?

  •  Reactions are becoming more and more virulent against Islam in Europe:
     
    In order to prevent a Swiss mosque being built, pieces of pork have been scattered or buried in the ground in Switzerland.
    http://www.romandie.com/news/n/_Suisse__des_restes_de_porcs_enterres_sur_le_terrain_d_une_future_mosquee111120111811.asp
    In Spain:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw4efflXQP0
    In France
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir2CVORbo8M
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXcllu9T_kg
    A sport getting accrued interest; burning or sullying a koran
    http://rutube.ru/tracks/4984540.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSavdgs-RbU
    Spreading in Denmark:
    http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php?topic=1558665.0

    A “euro-regionalist” group, the “Bloc Identitaire” has broadcast the muezzin call to waken up the inhabitants of a neighbourhood of Bordeaux and Tours and warn them about the project of a mosque building:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-eXw2RhVfA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-h8XkYvUcTw

    Very recently, they have climbed on the rooftop of the mosque of Poitiers (place where Charles Martel stopped the Arabic invasion of Europe in 732)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFr-uM62LPQ

    What is the best solution, keeping in mind a total reasonable agreement on these issues will probably never be reached :
    A right-wing party that prevents Anders Brevik’s tragedies to happen and channels reactions into a peaceful track? Ignoring people’s opinions in the name of superior principles? Increasing campaigns of information
    about Islam?