Muslims living in Sweden are fearing becoming the target of anti-Islamic attacks following the recent terrorist attack at the office of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
The attack, which took part earlier this week, has been attributed to Islamic fundamentalists seeking revenge for the magazine’s apparent mocking stance on Islam. The attack left 12 dead, and more injure and has been internationally condemned as an attack on free speech.
In the wake of the attack anti-Islamic sentiment has already begun to grow across Europe. A mosque in Gothenburg was last night evacuated following an anonymous bomb threat that is thought to be linked to anti-Islamic groups.
Mohammad Fazlhashemi, Professor of Islamic theology at Uppsala University, told online news publication The Local that Muslims were right to fear ‘counter-attacks’ in Sweden as well as other European nations. According to Professor Fazlhashemi, anti-Muslim views have grown in Sweden in recent years and have been accelerated by the recent events in Paris.
News of the recent bomb-threat also comes after a series of anti-Muslim attacks on mosques was seen across Sweden, which included one building being fire bombed.
Swedish Muslims who already faced much persecution in their country now fear that far-right and anti-immigrant groups will exploit the Charlie Hebdo attacks to support their assault against religious minorities.
Mere hours after the first attacks took place far-right politicians from several countries came out in support of the victims, some also exploiting the situation to support anti-immigrant policies.
In Sweden several members of far-right party the Sweden Democrats used the attacks as a chance to voice anti-Islamic views, with one member writing ‘the religion of peace shows its true face’.
The party, who have been growing in popularity in recent months, support anti-immigrant policies and are expected to cause a significant upset to the current ruling government in the coming months. Many Muslims fear this will lead to further persecution in their country.