From Swedish Muslim women's organizations and Muslim women activists
To: Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven
We, the undersigned Muslim women, have seen with great concern how the hatred towards Swedish Muslims in recent weeks has been transformed into an explicit order which exclude Swedish Muslims from political participation.
Being a practicing Swedish Muslim woman today requires great courage, as well as a strong conviction in that the democratic system functions; to be able to practice our religion without constantly having to defend ourselves, be attacked or demonized, we need a government that upholds freedom of religion and international conventions on human rights. There is a rapidly growing public opinion based on Eurabia inspired conspiracy theory in which Swedish Muslims are portrayed as a threat to democratic values. These opinions are becoming normalized in all political parties.
In recent weeks we witnessed how Islamophobic conspiracy theories reignited a witch hunt directed at the MP Mehmet Kaplan, the Muslim community in general and the Muslim civil society in particular. The witch hunt did not end with Mehmet Kaplan but rather resulted in a situation in which politically engaged Muslims who exercised their constitutional right to freedom of religion, with regards to their physical integrity, were given no choice but to leave their political posts. Swedish Muslims have also been described as “Islamists" with a hidden agenda to introduce Sharia law in Sweden. The important question of the possibility of separate bathing times for men and women has been pointed out as the ultimate sign of Islamization.
We lack a statement from the Prime Minister that clarifies that the representation of the Muslim population in Sweden is not only welcome, but also necessary in order to create a society based on equity and inclusion. In the recent witch hunt against Swedish Muslims in political parties, we have not heard the prime minister say that Muslims are an important part of society and that we have equal rights and equal opportunities to engage in politics without being treated with suspicion and described as a group with " hidden agendas”.
In recent years we have witnessed how the situation for Swedish Muslim women has deteriorated to an extent where we do not have equal access to economic, political and social justice. Our bodies are also the target for racist hate crimes where physical and verbal attacks, harassment and violence has become an increasingly common element in our daily lives. At this moment, given the prime ministers recent statements, we can also add to the list that Swedish Muslim women do not have a place in politics without having their very existence questioned, treated with suspicion and labeled as "Islamist" with hidden agendas. Instead we have a situation where the Prime Minister has now established a precedent where we as Muslim women are expected to sacrifice our personal and bodily integrity. Given the Prime ministers recent remarks, men can force us to body contact against our will.
We have no intention to stay by idle and accept that Sweden goes the same way as other European countries, where Muslim women who choose a particular dress, or choose not to shake hands, are thrown out of the public domain.
We are tired of being treated as second class citizens and be subjected to policies that do not create a society with equal opportunities, in which economic, social and political rights also applies to us Swedish Muslim women.
We demand a response from the Prime minister and a clarification on whether Muslim women are welcome to get involved in Swedish politics without being forced to sacrifice our right to personal and bodily integrity?
We, the undersigned:
Muslim Women Association in Sweden, Zainab Marrakchi
Hayat Women Movement, Aftab Soltani
The panthers in Gothenburg, Sabrine Jaja
Voice of Hijabis, Aiman Kayani
Sweden's Young Muslims Radia al-Masri
Muslims human rights committee, Maimuna Abdullahi
Muslim human rights committee, Fatima Doubakil
@svartmuslimskkvinna, Khadra Abdirashid
@svartmuslimskkvinna, Ayaan Egeh
Amina Jama Mahmud, Researcher at university of Uppsala
Aroma Abrashi, anti-racist activist Muslim women
Ebru Dogan, Buisness owner and anti-racist activist
Idil Suleiman, anti-racist activist Muslim women
Nimo Bashir, anti-racist activist Muslim women
Ragia Abdullahi, anti-racist activist Muslim women
Kaoula Channoufi, student in social work
Zaynab Ouahabi, linguist and anti-racist Muslim activist
Johanna Lihagen, founder of instagram @muslimskkvinna