Qatar’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has opened Scandinavia’s largest mosque in Malmö, Sweden.
The 1,791 square metre Umm Al-Mu’minin Khadijah Mosque will be able to accommodate around 2,000 devotees and cost the Qatari government around three million euros, according to the Qatar News Agency.
An absolute monarchy where the legal system is based largely on Sharia law, the Gulf state has been repeatedly accused of funding radical Islamic terrorism, not least by former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to [Islamic State] and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” read a 2014 document released by Wikileaks in 2016.
An investigation by The Telegraph newspaper, also in 2014, further accused the Qataris of funding Islamists in Libya, Iraq, and Somalia via middlemen in Turkey.
Carl Schiøtz Wibye, Norway’s former ambassador to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, has suggested that European governments must “weed out local influence wherever it comes from, be it through financial support, literature or videos by preachers who say terrible things online”, in part by banning the foreign funding of religious institutions, such as the Malmö mega-mosque.
“In addition, we [should] require that all imams should speak Norwegian, so we can better understand what is happening in the Muslim community,” Wibye added.
Malmö, which is Sweden’s third-largest city, has become a hotbed of drug crime, gun crime and extremism following large-scale Muslim immigration. Regular grenade attacks are a particularly worrying feature of life in the city, given the potential for terror attacks on the wider population.
“Malmö is infamous for explosions,” retired police chief superintendent Torsten Elofsson told Breitbart London in late 2015.
“I live in Malmo and I love this city. But of course it has changed – now we have the bridge from Copenhagen, this is a border town. Most of the drugs going to the rest of Scandinavia comes through here – this is a key route for smuggling drugs, weapons, people, and so on.”
“The bridge brought good to the city, but from a police perspective it has brought more crime. Now since we are in the [European Union] Schengen area we’re not allowed to have border controls, which makes it difficult to supervise what is happening”.
Elofsson believes it is accurate to describe parts of Malmö and other areas of Sweden as having become “no-go zones”, and claimed that the number of these is “expanding”.
“Police can go to these places,” he said, “but you have to take precautions.”