Swedish media is reporting that the imam of Stockhom’s largest mosque has condemned the recent suicide attacks in the Swedish capital. According to a report in the Stockholm News:
Two Imams in Sweden have now publicly condmned the suicide bomb attack in Stockholm. The bomb attack took place in central Stockholm yesterday around five pm and killed one person. The Imam of the biggest Mosque in Stockholm, Södermalmsmoskén, sheik Hassan Moussa, condemns the suicide bomb attack in Stockholm yesterday. He writes in an email to Swedish news agency TT that Sweden’ security and stability is a religious responsibility and condems ‘…all forms of abuse, violence, intimidation and threats against innocent people no matter what the motive is.’
A local media report from April 2006 states that although they were later expelled, an Al Qaeda recruiter was operating in the Södermalmsmoskén, also known as the Great Mosque, and that the mosque was known for having “fundamentalist” sympathizers as well as individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. The mosque is run by the Islamiska Förbundet i Stockholm which is also the Swedish member organization of the Federation of Islamic Organizations In Europe (FIOE), the umbrella organization representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
In May 2004, local media carried a report by a local Muslim who said that Hassan Moussa was giving incendiary speeches at the mosque in Arabic that were incorrectly translated into Swedish. These speeches including accusations that the US was “raping Islam.” According to a translation of the report:
The largest mosque in Stockholm is spreading double messages. What the Imam says in his speech in Arabic doesn’t match how the text is interpreted in Swedish. “America rapes Islam,” the Imam roars in Arabic from the platform. The interpreter translates to Swedish: “We condemn USA:s torture of Iraqi prisoners.” It is Friday prayer in the mosque on Medborgarplatsen in Stockholm. Every week some 2 000 Muslims gather here to listen to Sheik Hassan Mousas sermon. He is the highest Imam in the mosque. Friday May 14, when SvD visited the mosque, the Imam was talking about the torture pictures of Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison. Hassan Mousa speaks formal, classical Arabic and roars into the microphone. “What’s wrong with you grandchildren of Mohammed? How long will you endure this humiliation of Muslims without reacting? American and British soldiers, grandchildren of Hitler, are torturing Muslims in Iraq.” The words sink like a carpet bombing over the hall. Everybody feels them. Many have tears in their eyes. Heads are sunk and eyes are lowered onto the the blue coloured soft carpet. Minutes later the Swedish translation of the speech is read by an interpreter. In Swedish, the American torture of Iraqi prisoners is condemned, but at the same time the translator emphasizes earlier good works for Muslims done by the US, among others in Bosnia. Not a word on how America is raping Islam, is the enemy of Islam and wants Muslims to be humiliated and under submission. Afterwards the Imam Hassan Mousa admits that his sermon was harsh. “But I had no choice. The hatred against America has grown enormously since the publication of torture- and rape pictures ”, he says. “The torture of prisoners in Iraq is a racist act by America against Muslims. I can’t come out and speak about reconciliation and say that Islam not is subjected to a war by America at this time. The Muslims in Sweden would not accept it.” He also refers to earlier sermons and says that many Muslims call him an “American friendly” preacher. “I have to calm down the Muslims feelings and meet them halfway.” But at the same time he denies that the mosque on Medborgarplatsen spreads double messages. That the Swedish translation didn’t match the original Arabic is not a conscious strategy according to him. “It just happened. Arabic is a much richer language than Swedish. It’s impossible to translate everything. I usually improvise as I speak as well and say things that aren’t in the translation. According to Hassan Mousa the mosque’s direction has also, for practical and time saving reasons, decided that the translation should be a short version of the Arabic sermon. “It should account for the essential points in the speech,” he says. Salam Karam Quote from the Imam’s sermon in Arabic: “How long will you sit with your arms crossed and watch as the enemies of Islam imprisons your brothers and sisters, torture them, dishonour and kill them? Have we as Muslims sunk so low that we allow American soldiers to rape us and piss on us? Haven’t you understood that America doesn’t want what is best for the Muslims? Haven’t you understood that the only thing America wants is the humiliation of Muslims? Haven’t you understood that America wants that the grandchildren of the Prophet submit to Bush. America will pay the price for all martyrs who have died in Palestine. There are those who are spreading lies in the media, saying that we in the mosque don’t think that the former Hamas Leader, Sheik Ahmad Yassin, is a martyr, He is certainly a martyr and the martyr of martyrs. I want everybody in Sweden to know that.” Quote from the interpreter’s Swedish translation of the Imam’s sermon: “We condemn America’s torture of Iraqi prisoners. The UN:s treaties forbid torture. We want the Americans who are responsible to brought before the court. America has committed inhuman acts. But at the same time we want to remind Muslims to not judge all Americans alike… Think about all American parents who sent their children to Bosnia in order to help Muslims there.”