Sweden Church in hot water for defending ‘Islamist-linked’ charity

Many, including Sweden’s own Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), have linked Islamic Relief, the world’s largest independent charity organisation based on Islamic values, to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist network banned in many countries, including Russia.

The Church of Sweden has received strong criticism after defending an organisation allegedly linked to Islamists on Twitter, prompting many to threaten to leave the church.

The background to the criticism is the collaboration between the Church of Sweden and the charity organisation Islamic Relief, which many, including Sweden’s own Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), have linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organisation banned in many countries.

While this admitted collaboration triggered a backlash, the Church of Sweden stuck to its guns on Twitter, claiming there was no scientific support for the Islamist connection, suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood’s presence in Sweden wasn’t sufficiently documented.

“There are no studies that can show that the Muslim Brotherhood has an organisation in Sweden structured as the Egyptian parent organisation with ‘families’ as a base and a leader at the top to whom all members swear an oath of allegiance”, the Church of Sweden tweeted, unleashing a new wave of criticism.

​”We as a Church have no official standpoint about the Muslim Brotherhood. Likewise with other organisations. What we do have a standpoint about is the organisations we collaborate with”, the Church said in a later-deleted tweet.

​”That statement is not true. Aje Carlbom has released a scientific report to the MSB, where all the connections are established. In addition, we have written a number of articles where we provide facts about what the connections look like”, Magnus Ranstorp, Sweden’s leading terrorism researcher, tweeted.

​”Stop talking nonsense. The Muslim Brotherhood association exists and has been substantiated, it is clear in the MSB report. The fact that the Church of Sweden seems to believe in a homemade explanation for defending an Islamist terrorist group is rather depressing”, blogger Christer Sfeir tweeted. “In addition, the Brotherhood has no party books but membership is given orally through an oath of allegiance, the cells are minimal, and loosely connected, which makes mapping difficult in the legal sense”, he added.

​”The German Bundestag and the French Senate have recently released reports supporting this. The French Senate engaged 60 experts in the field of Islam, Islamism, terrorism, Arabism, etc”, the liberal-conservative portal Ledarsidorna tweeted.

​Many users voiced their extreme displeasure and desire to leave the church.

“Well now I’m leaving the Church of Sweden, do not want to contribute to this rubbish”, a rather typical reply said.

“Can you leave the Church of Sweden again? Kind of confirm that you have left?”, another one said sarcastically.

​”You’re digging your own grave. Nice that I left many years ago”, another one chimed in.





Related Articles