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Halal or Haram? A new council gives advice to Muslims in Sweden

Karen Holst · 14 Mar 2011, 10:32

Published: 14 Mar 2011 10:32 GMT+01:00

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Is it halal or haram? Right or wrong?

For the more than 450,000 Muslim living in Sweden, or about 5 percent of the total population, it may not always be easy to understand how Islamic practices are best applied in Swedish society.

The group, known as the Swedish Fatwa Council (Svenska Fatwarådet), officially began in mid-2009 with 14 members, composed of educated imams and people with qualified experience in the field.

“The most common questions we receive are related to relationship issues, marriage and divorce, economic issues, private issues of how to live as Muslims in Sweden and arbitration of conflicts,” says Saeed Azam, chairman of the Council.

It is common practice that Muslims seek religious advice regarding how to live in the best, most constructive way where ever they are as well as how to interpret contradictory information.

The word fatwa is commonly defined as a legal pronouncement in Islam that is issued by a religious law specialist on a specific issue.

Fatwas run the spectrum from basic - which foods to eat - to the modern – which music to listen to – to the political – positions on world terrorism. They are adopted to the specific circumstances, environment and time of a certain situation, as fatwas cannot be the same all over the world, in all times due to differing elements.

The decrees also can be refuted or redefined by other Islamic scholars.

For example, in 2001, Egypt's Grand Mufti issued a fatwa stating that the popular television show “Who Will Win the Million?”, modelled after the British show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, was un-Islamic.

The Sheikh of Cairo's Al-Azhar University later rejected the fatwa, finding that there was no objection to such shows since they spread general knowledge.

The most notable fatwa to recently hit the global audience is the 600-page Fatwa on Terrorism, an Islamic decree against terrorism and suicide bombings released last year.

This fatwa was a direct rebuttal of the ideology behind al-Qaeda and Taliban. It is one of the most extensive rulings to date, with an "absolute" condemnation of terrorism without "any excuses or pretexts" and even goes as far as to declare terrorism under Islamic law as kufr, or of a person who does not believe in Allah.

It was produced in Canada by the influential Muslim scholar Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and launched in London last March. According to experts, this fatwa is a significant set-back to terrorist recruiting operations.

Dr. Qadri said during the launch, "Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts."

The Swedish Fatwa Council issued its first fatwa last year in response to the suicide bomb attack in Stockholm, condemning the act and describing it as not compatible with Islam.

Back in Malmö">Malmö, Azam believes there is a great need in Sweden for the Muslim minority to have such a council to turn to for advice in a context that fits the environment.

“We know what it’s like to live in Sweden and the conditions that people live with here, we understand the challenges,” Azam says.

The Swedish Fatwa Council aims to have a geographical spread of qualified imams throughout the country to increase their reach.

Within the Council they plan to establish the Fatwa Committee, which will consist only of imams who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in Sharia, or the study of a system of laws derived from the Koran and the Prophet Muhammed’s actions.

Sharia, however, can differ from country to country, and the interpretations of it can range from conservative to liberal.

“It’s been a balancing act to find the right representatives, to avoid extremes,” Azam says.

Today the Committee has nine such educated imams, who reference both the Koran and the Prophet Muhammad’s actions when answering questions about what is and what is not permissible under Sharia Law.

Since fatwas can differ depending upon the school and branch of Islam, the Committee will remain an odd number to ensure a majority vote when providing answers.

Questions are submitted to the Council by letters and e-mails through their website.

The imams plan to lean on authorities abroad when needed, rather than compete with the major fatwa centres of the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, such as the European Fatwa Council.

The Council can then reshape those fatwas in a manner that is applicable to life in Sweden.

However good the intentions though, not all are in favour of the Swedish Fatwa Council.

“They are a little group without the real qualifications to be established here in Sweden,” says a representative from the Grand Mosque in Stockholm.

“There are many other organisations that are properly established in Sweden to provide such counsel. This is not one of them.”

The Grand Mosque, which is run by the Islamic Association, fails to see the need in assigning its own representative to the group.

Story continues below…

The Swedish Fatwa Council’s biggest challenges thus are to earn the recognition and respect of the numerous Muslim factions and organizations within Sweden, as well as find representation that matches the nation’s diverse Muslim community.

The Muslim Council of Sweden (Sverige’s Muslimska Råd - SMR) is regarded as the highest Muslim authority in the nation and serves as the influential umbrella organization to most registered Islamic groups in Sweden.

SMR president Helena Benaouda says there's not a real need for the Swedish Fatwa Council or the need to have a fatwa for every little detail of life.

She adds that while it's good for imams or groups of imams and educated individuals to think about how to best implement Islamic practices in Sweden, Benaouda warns against opinions and guidance coming from too narrow a field.

"We welcome all efforts to explain Islam in a European context but this group is still too little - they need to be much bigger and much broader," Benaouda says, adding that educated female representation also is important, which the group in Malmö currently lacks.

The diverse Muslim community in Sweden includes large numbers of believers who originate from countries outside the Middle East such as Bosnia and Somalia. As of yet these groups do not have representation in the Council either.

Despite views from those who are sceptical about the Fatwa Council and its ability to represent Sweden's diverse Muslim population, Azam is nevertheless optimistic about the Council's potential to serve as an important resource for Muslims in Sweden.

"We believe we have the specialist knowledge needed, since the imams in our Council have the proper religious education," he says.

"We want other Muslim minorities to be included in the Council in the future."

Karen Holst (kholstmedia@gmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

14:15 March 14, 2011 by Nora
Here we go again for a round of discussions. to start it:

"Within the Council they plan to establish the Fatwa Committee, which will consist only of imams who have earned at least a bachelor's degree in Sharia, or the study of a system of laws derived from the Koran and the Prophet Muhammed's actions."

-Where can one get such a bachelor? is it registered at studera.nu?

"We welcome all efforts to explain Islam in a European context".

-Could anyone explain to me what that means?! I thought Islam is Islam. Do we have African Islam? or perhaps Caribbean Islam? I am particularly interested in Hawaiian context.
16:26 March 14, 2011 by Alohart
In a Hawaiian context, "Allahu Akbar" becomes "Aloha Akbar".
18:16 March 14, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@Nora A degree is just a certificate from some well known Islamic institute and sometimes doctors also do bad tthings even with a degree but we should listen and then decide.

second Islam is Islam in its core but Quran is symbolic book and different cultures interprets it differently , i should say in its actual form it just give guidelines for some culture , and these guidelines are diffrent from culture to culture according its faults.

so Islam is God message for human to make cultural values Islamic, Man made different cultuers in Tibbat ,in hawiie, in sweden Sharia(Socio-Quranic Legislation) just change few cultural values which are non Islamic or not good for human.
19:11 March 14, 2011 by shafiquefsd
As different Muslim from different countries have their own understanding about Islam about most of matters in the circumstances mention in the above article.

A good and practicable solution will be provided by the Qualified Muslim Scholars (Expert in Islamic Education may be from Medina University Saudi Arabia, JamatulAzhar Egypt and from India and Pakistan ).
11:11 March 15, 2011 by isenhand
Funny how god is supposed to have given us these revelations yet to understand it we need interpretations and interpretations of the interpretations and then add more interpretations on to those interpretations. I wonder why god can't send us all an e-mail. This is the 21st century after all, why does anybody need to rely on a book that some bearded guy that came out of the desert is supposed to have recited?

Is it just me or does this all sound too much like a bunch of psychopaths wanting to control people?
13:34 March 15, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@isenhand actually God made a better plan , he is not sending his message through email but He gave you senses and judgement , so no emails but you judge all time ,its directly in our own senses.

and as far why we need to rely on book came 1400 years ago , its because when there was anarchy in Russia they consult Karl Marx writings after his death, so yo have a short memory but evolution has a plan of millions years Only God can give a right guide line you just need to open your eves and recognize your self without contemporary debate about Religions .

if yo think some one is controlling people behind Islam then you should know there is no Pop behind Islam and Theocracy is not permitted , infect First state os Islam was a purely democratic state , its mentioned in Quran.
14:58 March 15, 2011 by mfh4
"Fatwas run the spectrum from basic - which foods to eat - to the modern - which music to listen to - to the political - positions on world terrorism. They are adopted to the specific circumstances, environment and time of a certain situation, as fatwas cannot be the same all over the world, in all times due to differing elements.!"

Irs strange how this article doesn't make any mention at all of the most famous Fatwa ever proclaimed, the one calling for the death of Salaman Rushdie
15:16 March 15, 2011 by truthworthy
I welcome them but they have to reconcile/merge with other organisations so as to not create too many factions of Muslims in Sweden.
17:20 March 15, 2011 by star10
Societies go through different levels of development. Early on, with little media and the means to comprehend the overall dynamics of society, relying on few individuals to make educated decisions on social matters was necessary. But now a days, particularly in the western world, with so much media access and means of education, there is no need for such authority. There is of course always the need to teach a religion's stance on social or political issues as many people value their religious teachings. But there is no need for a group of individuals to make authoritative decision on the people's behalf.
07:27 March 16, 2011 by isenhand

So, I have a superior communication system than god! I certainly have a superior sense of morality and a superior plan.

So, some bearded guy comes wondering out of the desert with what he says is a revelation from some god and what proof does he have? What's to say he's not delusional or just straightforward lying?

These fatwas tell people what they can or cannot to do, can or cannot eat, wear or cannot wear. It is like a psychopaths wet dream, it is with good reason that the senior echelons of organised religion are often dominated by psychopaths.

The sad thing I see in all this is people wasting their lives as there is no god.
07:53 March 16, 2011 by technoviking
Interesting that all postings on this thread asking Muslims to clarify some of the more sinister passages in the Koran have been erased...

Why are we not allowed to acknowledge and ask for interpretation of things that are written in black and white n the book and not the "opinions" of anyone?
08:25 March 16, 2011 by orndumma
@ isenhand,

Though your questions are genuine, the religion (Islam in particular & Abrahamic religions in general) doesnot give you the right to question God or his Messenger. If by any chance you do that, a fatwa will be announced claiming you are a Blasphemer and you are fit to be killed (wajib-ul-katal... or something of sorts in Islam). Thats where the topics closed. No further discussions whatsoever...!!

PS. I am in no way Islamophobic...!! just putting up the facts...!!
08:36 March 16, 2011 by isenhand
All these religions make contradictory claims about life, morality and eternity and in doing so they must be questioned. Silencing questions by threatening to kill people shows that there is something seriously wrong with these religions. If these religions were in anyway correct then they would have proof. Threatening to kill people shows they have no proof and therefore show them as false religions.
09:06 March 16, 2011 by Keith #5083
Amazing how so many are so busy "bla.bla-ing" to 'God' and arguing the nuances of language and interpretation.

Why do so many religions teach that it is more important to listen to the words of some scholar/priest/immam/evangelist/rhabbi/teacher that to listen to the words in your own heart?

If you do not know what is a loving and right action in your own religion, then you're in the wrong 'religion'.

"My religion is love - whichever the route love's caravan shall take, that path shall be the path of my faith."Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi
11:04 March 16, 2011 by orndumma
@ isenhand

Personally I feel there should be nothing above critisism.. not even God..!!

2 Keith #5083

I am certainly not bla.blaing God...!! I am putting up facts in a logical, civilised way..!! If you can counter it logically without bullshitting, i would very much appreciate it... Also, its not necassry to believe in God (or religion) to gain morality. Civilisation by itself is self-sustaining....
14:20 March 16, 2011 by Swedesmith
Fatwa just sounds so harsh. How about Chubbywa?
14:25 March 16, 2011 by xcited?
I think God has better things to do than to "email" us individually or to make us believe whats right and wrong or to prove that He exists. The universe where earth is, is just a fraction of the huge huge huge other things He has built. And if our universe is just a fraction then think how small this earth is and how small sweden or u are!

I also think it is better to stick with what you research by urself and what u think is right or wrong and to read the Holy books by urself for knowledge and decide on it - than to listen to scholars who are from different cultures and interprets things their way...

I read lot of things and this article is what I was reading few days back, so wanted to share --- http://www.speed-light.info/miracles_of_quran/seven_heavens.htm ---- tell me what you guys think
16:47 March 16, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
There are many very exited questions and as a muslim i should say that many people really dont know Islam they still compare Chrastinity and Islam and thats why Muslins are different because they been corrected by GOD after jesus.

let me take few

@ Keith #5083 said very enlighting thing and it is core of Islam that GOD gave man a pure heart and most of time heart gives us all information of good and bad as an individual person, for example Love,truth, justice, equality, are laws of God written already in human heart and Quranic law establish social systems on those bases for a socity.

@ isenhand you miss understand me , read my previous text and tell me that how you have a superiour comunication system, you own a brain, and heart and all email and multi media stuff just explain language, so you did not got my point .

@ isenhand och orndumma there is no way that all people just following Mohammad , all muslims are not logical that they did not asked many questions to Mohammad or God. even Muslims argue and debate with roman and persian empires at that time and look at global map that people accepted Islam that it provided a very balanced system through out history. even now in worst time of Muslim history and in best time of westren-idealogy you can see very good in Islamic cultuer and very bad sides of vestern culture. but people still ask question and find answers but of-course Mohammad is not here to answer us.

@ orndumma you are righ,t in quran GOD invite people for criticism, very big appeal from GOD is that 'dont you people think ?' so all critiqes been asked and answered but to understand you should not have an already existing dogma or decision in your own heart ..

@xcited we are only intelligent creature of this universe yet known , then why God should not address us , i am sure research can answer many questions but if some part of religion are confirmed by religion then why you are not willing to accept those question which are not possible with research, for example , who am i , where i have come from , and what will be my end ?
18:55 March 16, 2011 by technoviking

"even now in worst time of Muslim history and in best time of westren-idealogy you can see very good in Islamic cultuer and very bad sides of vestern culture. "

Hahaha. That's delusional nonsense. It's funny to see how you try to lie to yourselves in the face of reality. Your religion is destroying you.

The Muslim world is horribly violent, backwards, chaotic, sexist, intolerant and economically unproductive.

The West is civilized, innovative, thriving, progressive and modern.

IT's amazing how you tell yourselves how great your religion is while the mountains of evidence created by the horrors of life in the Muslim world tell the real truth.

Of course, that's all the fault of the West even though it is Muslims who kill other Muslims by the dozen. All over nothing but a desert fairy tale. I feel bad for you.
19:08 March 16, 2011 by maakm
I don't understand which one is more logical of the following two cases.

If I say that London bridge came into existence by it self or emerged from sea or whatever, people will not gonna believe me and I will be put into a mental hospital. But if I say that a guy designed it and made it, then people will eventually believe it. Even though they have never met that person. (I know you have seen the video on youtube)

But when it comes to the Universe. It becomes opposite and instead questioning about the existence of universe, they questioned about the existence of GOD. Isn't it silly. Even though it is also described in Quran upto a detail which is enough to believe in GOD.(Sorry folks youtube was not available at that time).
19:12 March 16, 2011 by SarahPalin

Not only is it mass censored but asking any questions about the prophets below 10 year old wife gets erased as well (note, if I use her name this comment would get deleted as well).
19:18 March 16, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@ technoviking i said sides , not all .

the picture i see, i can show you horribly violent, backwards, chaotic, sexist, intolerant and economically unproductive west and civilized, innovative, thriving, progressive and modern in Muslim world. for example after so much what west has becomethere is no family, divorce rate is highest in scandanavia, crime rate is highest is US,they harvested WWI,WWII, and i can count on more BUT all i ask you be Logical, Moderate and dont generalize :)
20:19 March 16, 2011 by calebian22

Saying that the muslim world is a bastion of progressive thinking and civilized behavior is being out of touch with reality. There are drugs that can help you with that.
20:20 March 16, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@ SarahPalin here is answer of your question

20:21 March 16, 2011 by xcited?
@technoviking --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arab_scientists_and_scholars make sure u go through all of them? :)

Arabs and muslims were considered to be good mathematicians --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_in_medieval_Islam

but I think nowadays muslims have other things to do like fighting against people looking for oil or people who just kills muslims bcoz they hates them....

if I call swedish people sexist or americans sexist because of what some people do then maybe all religions and all nations are sexist and all catholics are pedophiles, huh? :)
20:27 March 16, 2011 by technoviking
@ yyyvxyyy

More lies and delusions.

The divorce rate may be higher in the West since here, women are FREE and have the option. In the Muslim world they will be beaten, killed or stoned to death for exercising their human rights.

As far as the West being dangerous than the Middle East... why do you pour over here by the thousands claiming asylum and BEGGING not to be returned to the horrible, dangerous Muslim world???

Why are Westerners not asking Muslims for asylum?


Like most Muslims, your religion has replaced your critical thinking skills with mantras, lies and propaganda. You have no interest in seeing what this horrible ideology has done the poor people of the Middle East. Come back to reality.
20:45 March 16, 2011 by yyyvxyyy

i think you are not a mature person :), because but for others i will have to answer.

i never say there are no problems but what you understand by that is very wrong and exaggeration of reality.

about Women, only women can tell you better, you should ask white women who very recently accepted Islam, you tube is full of such stuff.

i have not said west is dangerous, but i was picking bad sides of west and good sides of Islam , even for sake of argument i should say that it is people who miss interpreted islam , they are triyng to correct this .

and i already have told you , there is no pop or theorocracy in islam so there is no power politics or propaganda we are fixing the problem
22:35 March 16, 2011 by superturbo
Talk about making trouble when there are none. Sad to see that these backwards ideas have made its' way here after getting rid of the previous desert-religion theocracy.
00:51 March 17, 2011 by technoviking
@ yyyvxyyy

Save it.

Given the intolerable levels of sexual harrassment and abuse of women in Egypt, Turkey, Afghanistan and most of the Middle East, the Muslim world is universally known to be the worst place to have the misfortune of being born female.

The statistics are widely available, feel free to look yourself.

Again Islam in reality vs. the brainwashed nonsense you tell yourselves. Join us back in reality and stop lying to yourelf.
01:10 March 17, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@ technoviking if there are problems in Arab world they are result of non educated people , miss interpretations of Islam and international politics , i know the statistics and i acknowledge the truth and we are tring to solve that .

but for as far brain washing is concerned , Islam is perfect system which cant be denied , ask Muslims they will tell you that if they do some wrong it is their limitation but Islam provide them very balanced life which is hard to practice in non-educated, and misrepresented culture

on other side Islam is fastest growing religion of world , and you will see lot of youtube videos that white people are reverting to islam because they have better social system in Islam then western values, Islam in its first time spread because of its wisdom (not by terror)and even now it is spreading because of its wisdom you shoud do some research on youtube/internet and then decide who has been brainwashed,
02:54 March 17, 2011 by technoviking
As I said elsewhere, you are a victim, and proponent, of the most basic logical fallacy... Circular reasoning.

As a result all of your "arguments" are not valid logical arguments at all.

"Islam is perfect because Islam says it is perfect"


"The book says so and the book is true because it say it's true."


"Because Mohammed wrote it and he's the prophet because he said he's the prophet."

And so on.

As I said, you've been robbed of your ability to recognize logic by the religion that brainwashed you to believe these circular arguments are valid.

But stop and THINK about it, just for a day

If you were going to create a religion to what sort of argument would be best to control people and make them unquestioning, true believers who are incapable of the critical thought since they've been fed fallacious, illogical arguments since childhood and (falsely) consider such arguments valid... much like yourself.

Perhaps circular arguments like those you are making?

PS - Youtube propaganda videos are not an argument. If you' like you can find horrific videos of all manner of atrocities being commited by Muslims in the name of your "perfect system" by the dozens in the click of a button. Of course, I don't expect you to be able to distinguish propaganda from truth either.
08:44 March 17, 2011 by orndumma
@ yyyvxyyy

Just had the time to read a couple of your post. I will try to put forward my thinkg in a non-offensive way. here I go....

Islamic culture is by no means is the gold standard. Neither is the western culture. What you need to understand is for that matter no culture is perfect, each having its pros and cons. So please stop your claims regarding Islamic culture is better and western is worse.

But on anyday I(and many on this planet) will chose a western culture over a Islamic one. The reason being that we humans are born with free will and would love to be independent. Western culture will give me more freedom as compared to Islamic one. You might say thats not true, but history is on my side.

Lets for a moment assume that Islamic culture gives you more freedom. But when it is practically applied (as we see today) is more oppressive compared to western culture. So what the muslims of today should think about is why is it so ? Is it because the culture is good on paper but a disaster practically..!!

This is the kind of critism and questioning I would love to see in muslims. But baring a few, all I see is that Muslims prasing their culture with absolutely no respect for the western one..!!
09:04 March 17, 2011 by isenhand
@ yyyvxyyy

"tell me that how you have a superiour comunication system"

We have invented communication systems to allow us to communicate with people instantaneous all over the world via e-mail, SMS, telephone and video. We can broadcast messages to billions of people in one go. Compare that to the best that god can manage; and bearded prophet comming out of the desert with suppose revelation. I would say that we have a far superior communications than god.
09:59 March 17, 2011 by Keith #5083

The logic of your points is very simple: you have the right to think/believe/have faith in/not have faith in/ - anything you wish.Even to criticise, respectfully, those with whom you do not agree.

We all, also, have the right to state our thoughts/views/understandings.

I am not required to understand you, nor you I. What love does require of us is that we so choreograph our empathy that we may accept the beauty of each other as we dance the melody of life.
10:38 March 17, 2011 by planetcode

I would like to write some comments about your posts as you said that u don't believe in god. I m not going in to the matter that which religion is best or not.

First of consider this line, God says, "You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you."

As you said that you don't believe in god so you will argue that how could you accept this line to be really said by God but I am sure that there will be a point in your life when You will understand this line.

For god's existence i have some points:

What do you think all the universe has been made automatically ? If so then what a coincidence that everything is working according to the plan and inside its on limits by its on.

What do you think why earth is moving ? Because you can get both days and nights. So you can work in the daylight and rest in the night. Isn't this according to a plan ??

The Earth...its size is perfect. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter.3 Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.

How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?

The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.

Why human being exist ?? Just to eat, sleep, earn money, get older, spend all their life in enjoying and then die one thing and then there will be no sign of that person.. but why ??

You are talking about man made communication system. But how a man has developed this communication system ?? By using his brain ... The human brain processes more than a million messages a second. Who has created that ??

Come on.. in which world you are living ?? If you don't agree with any of the sentence I wrote above, its ok ... Just spend at least 1 hour in thinking about the world ... how that is made ?? why it is made ...? Why are you here in this world ??? why aree you in the city you live ... why not in any other city ... What will happen to you when you will die ... Nothing ?? ok if nothing then why are you here in this world ??

Its true that the advancement in technology we see nowadays seems like man has made all that ... but its not true .. Man is nothing on its own. He does all the things after his brain gets ideas on particular things. These ideas are surely coming from somewhere else ...
10:49 March 17, 2011 by xcited?

all I want to say to u is --- "lol, u av no idea about God's communication - its true when people says ignorance is bliss :)"
11:13 March 17, 2011 by isenhand
None of that requires a god, gods, invisible pink unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters nor purple wibbles nor any other made up magical being. Just because they are questions you cannot answer does not prove god. It just means we have more to learn.
12:20 March 17, 2011 by xcited?

Do u know what a wormhole is? Science has discovered it few years back and also discovered that it is possible to travel from one universe to another through these wormholes. Quran has talked about it thousands of years back.

That is why I said 'ignorance is bliss' :) Please tell me that Muhammad made it up to prove that God exist, because that would be the right response from u :) .....sigh!
12:42 March 17, 2011 by orndumma
@ planetcode

Your explanation of Earth and the life it sustains is a proof of God is quite narrow. Just because we dont know why universe came into being, or why there is life or earth etc., doesnot mean that God is the answer.

I will give u an example.. 110 years before if you said that i could make a machine that could carry 10 elephants and fly at 1000 kn/hr, people would have thought, you must me crazy. A Globemaster does this with ease. What I am trying to say is, just because we dont know the answer now, doesnot prove the existance of God.

As far as the existence of this universe is concerned, its all because of Gravitational force. You need to read about Stefan Hawkings. Great chap...!!
13:15 March 17, 2011 by isenhand
@ xcited?

Ah, the miracle of reinterpretation! The koran says no such thing, it is just people reinterpreting things after the fact. That koran is so vague and imprecise that it's easy to do that. There are many recently discovered scientific facts that the koran is supposed to have known. Yet when you look at them they are nothing more than vague statements repeating what was already known at the time and many of them are completely wrong, see 21:30 for example.
16:51 March 17, 2011 by technoviking
@ planetcode

You ask:

"Why human being exist ?"

The answer of the thoughtful intelligent person is a simple and humble, I DON'T KNOW.

We can live with uncertainty and the humility that we do not have a REAL answer without hiding from that uncertainty behind silly desert fairy tales.

The ability to tolerate uncertainty is a sign of strength and intelligence.

The need to desperately believe in something to hide from uncertainty is weakness.

The weak and simple minded out of a need for security cling to nonsensical answers from a primitive stone age book based on the flawed logic and values of that time and choose to ignore that the entire fictional house of cards rests on the book referencing itself to verify it's "truth".

For the weak minded I'm sure the certainty of the koran or bible are attractive. But those of us with the strength and ability to think for ourselves and stand on our own, we don't need to lie to ourselves and insult our own intelligence to feel good about the world.

I'm sorry that many of you do.
16:58 March 17, 2011 by local-aam
@ Everyone Opposing Islam:

1. Muslims are not exactly following ISLAM which supposed to give them peace.

2. Muslims countries are not governed by the ISLAMIC rules and political system. For example, the political system in all the Muslim countries (including saudi arabia) are not in the guideline of ISLAM.

3. Are you complaining about ISLAM? On the basis of what? So called Muslims? So called Islamic states? If you do so, you are completely wrong as the QURAN and the pure Hadith is the source that ISLAM can be evaluated upon. You can also study the reign of four Caliph and the first ISLAMIC State Madina to learn how ISLAM can implement peace and brotherhood.

4. Are you complaining about ISLAM? Did you ever read Quran?

5. Do know, many so called European and Western people converted to Muslim when they read Quran. I know some people, i am sure they are better muslim than me because they know ISLAM better than me and practice it all the way.

6. Are you complaining about ISLAM..... Open you mind. Be fare. Read Quran and its explanation from authentic sources (there exists many evil websites with intentional wrong explanations of Quran to represent ISLAM badly).

@ Muslims:

Did we ever read the whole Quran with its meaning? Do we practice ISLAM in our life? Do we really do? If not, are we Muslims????????? May be we all are bloody Muslims just waiting for the hell.
17:43 March 17, 2011 by yyyvxyyy

Very interesting discussion and i can say we have lot of misunderstandings, i may have but i really enjoy my freedom of expression and western system is not very complex to undersatdn for an individual because every one know what is free will :) infect we own it.

but the problem comes when we make a collective social system, and during my previous talks my intenssion has not been to say Islam is without compromises ,

in one way we made human friendly compromises and other way west try to reduce individual compromises to provide freedom but it traps in other hole of capitalism VS Socialism ethics and there is no freedom atall, and when they decide social ethics then science,economics,politics come in domain of religion where human knowledge is fail, for example faliour of Communism.

if you think i am not critical to Islam the you are wrong :), every educated muslim is but even after that i see that those who know both side preffer Islam and that why many people reverting but thats a different topic.

when you say a system which is perfact on paper but disaster in application then i agree with you that it has has been very unfortunate that muslims did not upgrade their system with new geo-political or socio-economic way but at same time west talk about green- politics Muslims recognize same perfect on paper where islamic feeling of virtue is known as incentive so it was applicable hunders years ago and it is still evolving in us with different names.

@Keith #5083 is again right that at some extant we have no need to understand each other to live with melody of life but ignorance is not bliss always and especially if we need a green future we will have to surrender lot of our freedoms and every one would have to be responsible . and Islam start this green evolution differently and unfortunatly its interpretations and their implementaion have been very strict and ilogical because of uneducated people.
21:16 March 17, 2011 by Lakshmi72
I suspect that this is a step towards establishing Sharia Courts in Sweden--if Swedes do not watch out.
23:07 March 17, 2011 by Hedley
I am atheist and as far I understand religion is very simple: a scam with fancy names...
02:41 March 18, 2011 by marcelj
Sweden has it reversed. Outsiders do not dictate how things are done, instead the outsider abides by, and lives according to the laws of sweden. Outsiders do not have there own laws but must live within the laws of the host country.
07:43 March 18, 2011 by orndumma
@ local-aam

I will keep it short. You are telling that that Islam is perfect but Muslims are imperfect ( By saying that there is no islamic contry and there are no true muslims). I am a question for you then. WHY ?

Why is it that not majority of the muslims are not true muslims ? Whys is it that there are no true Islamic countries ? Is it because Islamic rules are so tough that even muslims dont follow that ? Or is it that Muslims are to greedy for power and materislistic life that they have completely abandoned the rules of Islam? If humans are so materislistic, then why did the Holy Koran not give solutions why would free Muslims from materialism ? Is it all because the Islam did not consider the very nature of Humans when developing a system?Lets assume that Koran did give solutions, but then why is that Muslims are not following the solutions ? IS it ´beacuse the Greed has taken over ? If this is the case, then the solution from the Holy Koran is not applicable and it has falied...!!

Answer these from a prespective of an outisider to Islam.
09:36 March 18, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@ orndumma answer is very simple , we cant ignore or reject sustainable development or green party just because whole culture has evolved very non-sustainable, and whole technology is poluting and green party is very tiny in politics.

we know even this technology is need of new age but we need a change, we need a big strugle to change and change people mind and tell them that in such things they are not free , each one of us is responsible.

too may lies dont make a truth , even post-modernism perspective is shaking and now people understand that there is a true nature of earth and human , this reminds me a debate between norm chomsky VS michel foucault i recommend you it is on youtube.
12:39 March 18, 2011 by Taha

"PS. I am in no way Islamophobic...!! just putting up the facts...!! "

That's what every Islamophobic claims.

Ohh yes, by the way, anyone having anti-semitic ideas also claim that he/she is just putting up the facts...

Peace and cheers...!!!
12:54 March 18, 2011 by orndumma
@ Taha,

Is that the best you could come up?

Instead of answering the questions I posed, you are judging me.!! Answer my questions and I would appreciate your contribution...!!

Like I said before, baring a few muslims, majority of muslims are against critisism of Islam and oblivious to resoning....! You my friend are one of them.

Peace and Love...!!!
14:38 March 18, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
orndumma by the way you dont know your life is decided by few books of Michel Foucault, Darwin and stephen hawking and few more why dont you ask them to prove them self .

and you have never asked about critiques of those books but Muslims debate about quran its interpretations and are more then just critical even are divided because of such critiques.new generation of Muslims is very critical about science Vs Quran and Social science Vs Quran.

but tell me, your religion is freedom "have baring a few westerns, majority of westerns are against critisism of freedom and oblivious to resoning"

Peace and submission... !!!
16:11 March 18, 2011 by local-aam

Islamic view of life:


1. This world is full of greed and illusion.

2. Human minds are naturally so very affectionate toward luxary and the illusions shown by this world.

3. Life in this world is limited and momentary and the life hereafter is unlimited

4. Human are sent to this world to give an exam against greed, luxury etc.

5. Quran is not only for Muslims, it is for every Human.


People should not choose the way of greed and Luxury and they should always remind that they are in the exam hall


1. If the muslims do not follow Quran and Hadith accordingly, they will be left in chaos and misery (this is declared in Quran and we believe this is the reason why muslims are like this today) and they will be punished hereafter (the life after death).

2. The non-believers shall receive all rewards for all their good deeds, nothing will be pending for hereafter (i guess the reason why the secular world is so happy today)

Answers to orndumma's question: The Islamic view of life is far far different than the materialistic view. According to Islamic view, we are just in the beginning of the big scenario. Yes, today's Muslims are toward the false illusions of this world. But it does not fail Quran. The Quran clearly stated the Facts, Guidelines and the Consequences. Now it is upon the People (not only muslims) of this world whether to be guided by the God's own Verses (Quran) or not. The consequences will be right there.

These points would trigger many other questions. Why should we believe what Quran says? Why should we believe the life hereafter? Why should we believe God? There is a very simple and short answer for all such questions which is the Quran. The mathematical composition of Quran makes it impossible to be written by human being specially by some illeterate people living 1400 years ago. Well, that's a whole differnet discussion.
19:39 March 18, 2011 by technoviking

All of that sounds like a perfectly noble and worthy set of ideas.

Unfortunately that doesn't represent everything in the Koran and Hadith as those of us who have read for ourselves know. There are also much more sinister, fascistic ideas as well that have nothing to do with these ideas and this is what the terrorists have focused on. You can ignore them, but they are there.

And you actually sounded like a thoughtful person until: "The mathematical composition of Quran makes it impossible to be written by human being"

Which is absolute nonsense and more Islamic pseudoscience. It's sad to see how much fake "science" and superstition Muslims cling to.

You were never taught real critical thinking skills and twist your fairy tales around to sound like "science". This is why there is little to no real intellectual achievement coming out of the Muslim world. Logic and intellectual rigor cannot coexist with these fairy tales.

So again it's just more circular reasoning. "The book is true because the book is true." Which for rational people does not suffice.
04:26 March 19, 2011 by BarCode

Why is my rectal orifice perfectly sized to admit my thumb?
05:50 March 19, 2011 by Keith #5083

The rights referred to are, of course, available in most western societies. It appears that they are not available in most 'Islamic' societies.

Objectively, one would have to observe that a 'religion of peace' is destroyed from within by power/control struggles. Compare Catholic/Protestant violence in the Christian faith. Now compare Sunni/Shiite violence clearly visible thanks to the Internet. Jihadists complain about western involvement in muslim deaths - yet conveniently turn a blind eye to the muslim/muslim atrocities that have killed far, far more. Iran complains about lack of people's rights in Bahrain: the pot calling the kettle black? Of course Shiite Iran would complain about the minority Sunni power structure in oil-rich Bahrain.

My advice to any new 'council' that wishes to serve any religion, is to first ensure that you have unity within. A divided house will not stand and that is Islam's problem today.

Those who 'attack western values' do so only as a means of distraction from the internal war that is waging within Islam. Reliance upon an out-dated morality or ethical code is the death knell for any institutionalised religion, as can be seen in Catholicism in the last 30 years. 'Secular society' has been teaching morality to Catholicism, as 'human rights advocates' are attempting to teach ethics to Islam.
08:47 March 19, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@ Keith #5083 Islam is in between , you very nicly have discussed two extream sides secular freedom and conservative Mulims. reality is all Muslims which you see they dont complain about Islam and they are not opressed by Islam they are oppressed by theocratic, feudalistic, leaders and on other side in west secular fredom is source of problems like depression, no human value, drunk cultures, highest divorce rate/ no love, no trust on people, care less even about your own neighbor. Islam is in between.

unfortunately Islam presented in media or genrally media discuss extremist kind of stories for example if i would be looking sweden on just media and papers i would believe that sweden is drunk nation, it is rapist country, it has more cars the US , its people are very racist. but i am here and i can see that media is not all right it is some thing different then image in newspaper of Pakistan, china, US

dont try to learn Islam from Mulims that you see around they are not good represntatives , buy a Quran and read :) and be critical about both sides i am sure you will find the right direction. please dont compare chraristanity with Islam.
13:08 March 19, 2011 by Keith #5083

Y do you presume I have not read and/or studied the Koran? (have you read 'In the Shadow of the Q'ran ?)

Y not compare major religions? Have you something to fear from such comparisons, especially since at least 3 of them have common roots?

Y do you close your eyes to the failings within Islamic societies, but have them wide open to the supposed failings in western cultures?

Virtual religion is no religion at all if it has no loving and compassionate outreach - and not only to it's own.

Xtremist interpretations of ancient writings exist in all the major religions.

Y do you try to 'blame the politicians' for the activities of so-called religious courts and social police?

Y do you try to suggest that depression, divorce, adultery,drugs and low human rights values do not exist in Islamic countries (and I have visited a number)?.

You are correct that the 'ideal' of a religion is inspiringly wonderful, but when that 'religion' seeks to order every aspect of your life in accordance with the view/s of some 'expert panel' - as opposed to your living religion speaking within your own heart - is ceases to be inspiring but becomes conspiring..

Truth is, we don't actually need any books or experts to tell us when we are 'behaving badly'. We know it in our own hearts. Love, even self-love, has a way of communicating such a truth. Wouldn't you agree?.
01:07 March 20, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
most of Ys i have answered and may be you did not read them carefully .

you cant escap books, these are alrady there in your komuin office , in your law office . and in form of Agenda 21 of sustainable development. these books and Quran are not to tell you how is right in your self .... you alrady know that .

these books tell how to make a collective social system ..

the best think i can say you

open youtube and find critical stuff about secular freedom and Quran and decide your self that how your own hart and love been deceived.

13:15 March 20, 2011 by Keith #5083

You wrote, my friend,

1 "these books and Quran are not to tell you how is right in your self .... you alrady know that ." So we are agreed on this. We are so individually created that another's experience or understanding cannot fit into our shoes.

2."collective social system". So, you mean, they are social control books a little like Chairman Mao's Red Book, Hitler's Mein Kampf, Lenin's writings including April Thesis,Pol Pot's 'social engineering, etc.etc.

You see the problem here?

You accept the premise that a person has an inherent understanding of right and wrong. To defend such writings, however loving and well-intentioned, on the basis of controlling people's behaviour by 'some panel of experts' is to go down a road that history has clearly shown is a 'dead end' for humanity.

The problem with 'social control' in any religion is that it is a clear statement that people do not believe and therefore have to be controlled in their behaviour. Wherever there is an enforced religious-based collective social system it's very existence is a denial of the faith it claims to espouse.

If we agree that there 'should be no compuction in religion, the truth stands by itself' then enforced religious social engineering is a denial of that faith.

If I am true to my heart then no PR nor 'religious engineering' can deceive me. We all know, all the time, we simply have to accept the responsibility of our knowledge instead of passing that responsibility to some 'expert panel' in exchange for some ritual or other.
14:55 March 20, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
i completely agree about " "the truth stands by itself' then enforced religious social engineering is a denial of that faith" because according Quran God said to Mohammad that you are not controller over people and just an advisor to remind them.

"If I am true to my heart then no PR nor 'religious engineering' can deceive me" acceptance or rejection is part of own believe , believes are more then just personal phinominon for example truth,justice,love are abstract in human nature and alway give meaning with a relative way .. for example Human Nature vs Planet Nature (Green Politics), HumanN VS EconomicxN(Cammunism) Human VS GOD (religious believes) and these believes make our ethical self we are not just alone and alone(i am talking in context of social engineering not just religion) and now you can get my premise that a person has partial inherent understanding.

as far 'some panel of experts' is concerned in green/sustainable development we consult ''some panel of experts' that tell us what earth need and we are willing to stop our carbon emission and cut our profits but why you dont agree that when GOD need something(Change, humanity, patience) through His book. i know people have used religion for control politics but it did not mean that religion is completely baseless.

"We are so individually created that another's experience or understanding cannot fit into our shoes." ---this is post-positivist claim and i think you been taught in school that justice is relative and emerge in result of class struggle(according Marx, Focult) but at same time even i strongly disagree with its different uses but i used same interpretation above(Human VS earth, Human VS GOD) and you should also focus that we as human we are very similar (not all different to fit in others shoes) and concept of God is integrated in human nature trough histories(of-course it is not a coincident)

"So, you mean, they are social control books a little like a.b.c"

why you think there is no GOD and he is not trying to tell us something about us. I mean Mohammad could not read and write ,Jesus was against roman social control, Moses delivered people from oppression of Egypt. i think it is your statment is serious miss understanding of God message for human infact if He really wish to control He has power to do it any time but He gave us this life as a test.
17:18 March 20, 2011 by Keith #5083

If, indeed, life is a gift then it would be well to remember Kahlil Gibran's words "If you would give, first find one who is willing to receive and lay not upon them the burden of gratitude".

If as a test, then what sort of pupil gets the answers from the teachers instead, as Kirkegaard said, "of doing the sum for themselves"?

On a small academic point, Jesus was not against Roman social control but stated "give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's". Nor was he in favour of rabbinical control of people and there are enough of his statements to show that.

However, your first para is,arguably, your most powerful statement that I have read.

If the purpose of Immams, Priests,Rabbis,'experts'etc. is to 'advise', why is their advice always married to a punishment if you do not wish to accept the advice? Perhaps their advice is contrary to your own,personal, experience of a truth and in faithful conscience you cannot follow their advice.

I think we cannot compare 'scientific experts' who deal in hard proven facts, with

'religious experts' who deal with 'variable interpretations'. If the latter were precise then perhaps there would not be Sunnis and Shiias, contradictory hadiths and fatwas: Catholics and Protestants, etc.etc.. In other words, a 'religious expert' is very much conditioned by their own training and experience.

I simply feel that is a right of all persons.
00:23 March 21, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
complete saying is "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." now according Islam if a Messenger is in front of you and you believe on him then nothing belong to Caesar but at same time Abrahamic religion believe on evolution not revolution, so this was a wise advise for followers.

"If you would give, first find one who is willing to receive and lay not upon them the burden of gratitude". i think most of human love such burden we are very same inside , even Ghandi knew it.

"why is their advice always married to a punishment" i think you are wrong in understanding , when an expert of Geology advice its result are married to consequence not just punishment but Quran give glad tiding twice more then that and God name is "Rahman & Raheem " you may check its meaning. you are free to change your advisor if he/she is pessimist :)

"Perhaps their advice is contrary to your own,personal, experience" yes according Quran actions are consequences of intentions and God will judge humans on their intentions. so i will keep doing what i think is best for me until i find their truth better then mine.

"I think we cannot compare 'scientific experts' who deal in hard proven facts, " yes you are right about variable interpretations and these are also found in scientific meters and in that case i will do best according my version of truth but there are proven facts which can never be twisted with interpretations . for example, God know intension, universe has appointed end and humans will be judged , and your heart is best judge in your personal affairs.
00:46 March 21, 2011 by Keith #5083

It would seem that though we come to this discussion with differing experiences and probably different religious/cultural backgrounds, that we are in fact very close in our

core understandings.

It is only our dialect of expressing our lovingness that is the issue.

It would be a quite wonderful world if all peoples were as willing to discuss from the heart of their faith/understandings as you have been.

Many thanks.
01:53 March 21, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
"It is only our dialect of expressing our lovingness that is the issue."

let me tell you the truth from my end ...

free will is very expansive and only thing i have , with this i see a soft tender request from God that 'please give it to me' i know it is given by Him (neither by society nor by cosmos ) but it is my foolishness that i bargain in love.

Many Thanks
14:21 March 21, 2011 by johnny1939
Tack gode Gud att jag är protestant!!!!!
22:42 March 21, 2011 by dekul
As noted elsewhere, the Bible forbids the eating of the meat of an animal torn (terefah) by wild beasts and it also forbids (Deuteronomy 14:21) the meat of an animal that has died of its own accord, called nevelah, a carcass. The Rabbinic understanding of these two terms is that any animal that has not been killed in the manner known as shechitah [kosher slaughtering] istreated as nevelah, and any animal that has serious defects in its vital organs is treated as a terefah, so that its meat is forbidden even if it has been killed in the proper manner. This applies to birds as well as to animals.
09:42 March 22, 2011 by zerotolerancenow
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:12 March 22, 2011 by dekul
Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
08:49 March 23, 2011 by glamshek
Is Nuclear Power Halal or Haram ?
10:59 March 23, 2011 by dekul
Is Nuclear Power Kosher or Not Kosher?
13:32 December 15, 2011 by janeway
" …as fatwas cannot be the same all over the world, in all times due to differing elements."

Isn't that cute? I thought islam is islam, no matter where you live. You have this fairytale book called koran and it has letters in it. Just put them together and you will see they form words, read them and stop interpretations. It says in the koran that it is legal to kill those not believing in allah and his prophet. It is also correct muslimwise to kill such people that want to leave the one true religion. Explain that? Hmmmm

"Sharia, however, can differ from country to country, and the interpretations of it can range from conservative to liberal."

Guess the Saudiarabia interpretation is the conservative variety, since they just recently beheaded an elderly woman accused of witchcraft. What did she do? Cast a spell on someone, like the ayatollah khomeiny on Salman Rushdie?

"SMR president Helena Benaouda says there's not a real need for the Swedish Fatwa Council or the need to have a fatwa for every little detail of life."

Don't trust Benaouda. Have never read about anyone with that many excuses and stories to defend her daughers relationship with a man accused of terrorism in every country he visited and how it's OK to have your children with you while "vacationing" in holiday spots like Sudan, etc.

Those 5% muslims have more political power than the 95% non-muslims living in Sweden!

Please censor me now, The Local!
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