The Muslim call to prayer from mosques in Sweden has been supported by an unlikely source — the head of one of the country’s leading Jewish organisations.
Stockholm Jewish Community chairman Aron Verständig criticised a debate started by the leader of the country’s Christian Democrat party, who instructed its politicians to oppose permitting the call from a mosque in the southern town of Växjö on Fridays only.
“These kind of arguments have occurred throughout history. In Sweden we’ve always had them: people come here, then there are big demands placed on them in order to fit in, and that’s not something that helps integration,” he told The Local, a Swedish news website.
Mr Verständig compared the issue to the way Jews were treated in Sweden in the 18th century where, he said, “there was hysteria over Jewish immigrants bringing instability to the country due to their unfamiliar customs.”
“It’s not like there are thousands of mosques asking for calls to prayer in Sweden, it’s only one that asked recently and this thing came up, so the whole thing is being exaggerated.”
He added the move may have been motivated by this autumn’s parliamentary elections.