• Sweden edition
 

Säpo warns Swedish imam over internet threat

Published: 15 Mar 2011 13:20 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Mar 2011 13:20 GMT+01:00

Imam Othman Al Tawalbeh made headlines in Sweden last week after it was revealed that he had been hired to work with children at Fryshuset, a youth centre in Stockholm run by the Church of Sweden.

The idea behind the appointment was to provide spiritual guidance for the couple of thousand children with a Muslim background who regularly visit the youth centre.

But when foreign ministry officials discovered internet postings which portrayed Al Tawalbeh in a negative light, they reported the postings to the Stockholm police, who handed the matter over to Säpo.

"They said that they are concerned for my welfare and that they are taking the matter seriously," Al Tawalbeh told local newspaper Helsingborgs Dagbladet.

The texts, which are written in Arabic and have found their way into established Arab newspapers, describe Al Tawalbeh as an apostate, someone who has left the true faith.

According to Al Tawalbeh, the author is Mahmoud Aldebe, a prominent Swedish Muslim who caused headlines in 2006 when he was advocating Sharia laws in Sweden.

“He claims that most people think that I poison the true Muslim faith, that I will try to turn Muslim youngsters into Christians and that I advocate women’s rights,” Al Tawalbeh told HD.

Al Tawalbeh said he is used to being criticised but that this time it is more serious.

“Family and friends are worried and have contacted me to find out what is going on,” he said.

The police confirmed that Säpo has been in contact with Al Tawalbeh but told HD that it is too early to say how serious a threat he is facing.

The Church of Sweden has also been criticised for the appointment of Al Tawalbeh.

On Sunday two Swedish female priests wrote an article in the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper in which they questioned the appointment of an imam by a foundation run by the Church of Sweden.

Annika Borg and Johanna Andersson argued in the article that a prerequisite of being employed by the Church of Sweden had so far been to share the same core values, whether employed as a priest or as a janitor.

“It is our opinion that the appointment of an imam is unfortunate. It is a step taken too rashly and without proper consideration,” they wrote in SvD.

Despite the possible threat, Al Tawalbeh is eager to be getting on with his new job and his first prayers are scheduled to take place at Fryshuset in Stockholm this coming Friday.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

14:49 March 15, 2011 by eZee.se
"that I advocate women's rights"

Oh the horror, the horror!

"two Swedish female priests"

Seriously, the church of Sweden couldnt be bigger clowns if 49 of them got out of a single car wearing long floppy shoes.
14:50 March 15, 2011 by truthworthy
Well to threaten his life or call him apostate is absolutely insane and unacceptable. But the man should accept the criticism, someone who is claiming to be an imam but working for a church is weird. There are profound differences between these two faiths. A church where a son is declared for the Almighty God, a church where partners are assigned to God, I dont know why a Muslim who claims to have 8 years in Islamic studies would go there to take salary from.

He could have helped the youth through other organisations or by forming his own but to be an employee of a church and being an imam. I wouldn't recommend that.
14:50 March 15, 2011 by bolababu
hahaha, säpo warns moslem imam hired by the christian church of sweden! ..religion, politic's most faithful mistress! ..we the people are just the bed that they fornicate upon.
15:17 March 15, 2011 by witsltd
I applaud both the Swedish Church and the Imam on this case.

He has been hired to provide spiritual guidanec to youth with muslim background. The church has recognised that they have such visitors and it was right decision to bring in an Imam.

It doesnt say anywhere in the religious books that a muslim imam can not work alongside christian priests for a noble cause.

It is a bit surprising to hear two priests revealing a very strange rule. You will not hire a janitor if he/she is muslim/budhist/hindu??? Seriously???
15:56 March 15, 2011 by Stickeroo
This coming from two FEMALE priests?? ROFLMAO! Get back in the kitchen....
16:47 March 15, 2011 by muscle
@truthworthy: ISLAM, in its original form, states that muslims need to respect all other religions and other people's belief. And that muslims need to work hands in hands with people from other faiths. This is the reason it is called the religion of peace! I know this doesnt APPEAR true now ....

But the problem is, with the corrupted minds every where, and like every rule on earth can be misused or can be used for good, same is case with some muslims of today that people have started to see a different picture of muslims.

Such practices should be initiated by everyone. Thumbs up for swedish church and imam. I expect the similar step from the muslim world as well here in sweden. They should go for it as well!
16:54 March 15, 2011 by truthworthy
@muscle I am absolutely for respect and working with people of other faiths. But this is not working together, this is employment - when you are employed by a company you are not a partner with the company but you work for them.

So instead of becoming an employee of the church, it would have been better if the imam choose to work with them through partnership. I agree with you that some practices of some people that call themselves Muslims give a bad image of Islam and Muslims as a whole. but I am not sure if working for Sofia church will solve that.

thanks
17:27 March 15, 2011 by calebian22
Trustworthy,

For the first time ever, I agree with you. The church of Sweden should be teaching it's children Christianity, not Islam. The imam shouldn't be an employee or a partner. Religion is about freedom of choice. Choose a church, a mosque, a synagogue, or whatever else floats your boat. A surf and turf menu approach to religion is ridiculous.
20:26 March 15, 2011 by muscle
@ truthworthy: it was just a comment, didn't mean to say that you were wrong :)

I dont know what were the reasons for the IMAM to choose the church as employer, but I do know that sometimes when you want to do good many of your own fellows become hurdles in the way... but yes he could have used through partnership.
22:45 March 15, 2011 by Boyfriend
1 % of each of our salary goes to Swedish Church, many Muslims know or do not know but they are paying monthly fee to Church. The Imams are being paid from that money I guess? or maybe I am wrong correct me.

How many of you knew that? well I do not see any problem for an Imam to work with Church if the Imam intension be to do Dawah (invite others to learn Islam) that is how Islam spread.

But after all we are born from one parents for a while forget the religion , think about the Arab brown black hair good looking :P and the handsome black guy you see in reality He /she is your cousins :) immediately you would not be more racist .

Islam solves this problem by this verse of holy Quran:

{O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other)} [Al-Hujurat:13]

No Muslims is a Muslim who does not believe in Jesus Christ peace be upon him and his miracles ! Jesus Christ is our love and as Muslim I do love both my Holy messengers and others even the messenger who were sent to Jews :) They were all sent to mankind to spread love and all of them talked about worshiping one God not ghost or something you can not explain like trinity hehe
08:10 March 16, 2011 by buahaha
SAPO should move themselves and they should not make war propaganda against Muslims. Any idea or plan to kill someone is job for police and not for political police. I will not comment behavior of Imam because I am not Muslim.
18:26 March 16, 2011 by jbat
SAPO should be more intelligent , so they can solve many other crime mystery or problem.. not trying to use this small problem and make it big for their own cheap publicity!
12:16 March 17, 2011 by Jes
The Immam will be safer working as a pig farm Manager .

The Swedisn church should hire an athiest to neutralize religious extremism among the youths that are crazy enough to vist its gardens .
Today's headlines
Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
Search for foreign vessel continues off Stockholm
Minehunter HMS Koster takes part in the search in the Stockholm archipelago on Sunday. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

Search for foreign vessel continues off Stockholm

Sweden's armed forces were continuing to search for the cause of apparent "foreign underwater activity" in the Stockholm Archipelago on Monday. But the military denied news agency reports that they had imposed an exclusion zone. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days
The Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: TT

Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days

UPDATED: A patient has been cleared of any Ebola suspicions at the Uppsala University Hospital. It marks the second suspected case in Sweden in two days. READ  

Perspective: ‘Russian sub’ alert
Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters
The HMS Stockholm patrols Jungfrufjärden in the Stockholm archipelago on Monday morning. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters

With Sweden engaged in its biggest domestic military operation since the Cold War, The Local spoke to Johan Wiktorin, a fellow at the Swedish Royal Academy of War Sciences, to get insight into what’s going on in the Stockholm archipelago. READ  

My Swedish Career
US woman starts up Swedish toy store online
Leigh Neil and a llama hand puppet. Photo: Private

US woman starts up Swedish toy store online

For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Leigh Neil, who one day came to realize that there was a gap in the Swedish market for children's toys and decided to do something about it. READ  

Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
No truth to Russia's submarine claim: Dutch
A CB90-class fast assault craft at Kullbäling, a small island in Stockholm's archipelago. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

No truth to Russia's submarine claim: Dutch

The Netherlands on Monday denied a Russian claim that a mystery vessel the Swedish military has been looking for could be Dutch. READ  

Lufthansa Strike
Over 20 Swedish flights hit by Lufthansa strike
Grounded Lufthansa planes. Photo: TT

Over 20 Swedish flights hit by Lufthansa strike

A strike by pilots at German airline Lufthansa will affect over 20 flights in and out of Sweden over the next two days. READ  

National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Photo: Shutterstock

Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars

A dentist in western Sweden is offering free dental care to his town's Roma begging population. READ  

Business & Money
Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts
Photo: TT

Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts

Swedish electrical appliance maker Electrolux reported its third-quarter net profit soared 42 percent to 933 million kronor ($130 million) thanks to a cost-cutting programme started at the end of last year. READ  

National
School photographer fired for homophobic slur
Photo credit: Shutterstock

School photographer fired for homophobic slur

A photographer at a high school in southern Sweden was sacked after he called one of the students a "fag" during a shoot. READ  

Ebola crisis
Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

A male passenger who landed at Stockholm's Arlanda airport has been transferred to an isolation unit amid fears he may be suffering from the Ebola virus. But a specialist was keen to play down concerns. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Blog updates

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 

17 October

Editor’s Blog, Oct 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Here’s the whole week of news in just 60 seconds. The most-read story was about a..." READ »

 
 
 
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
National
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Society
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Gallery
Stefan Löfven through the years
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

990
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN