Muslim Caregiver Refuses to Buy Elderly Woman Christmas Ham Due to ‘Religious Reasons’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A Muslim caregiver in Sweden has caused controversy after she refused to purchase a Christmas ham for one of her company’s clients, saying that it violated her religious beliefs.

The case was brought before the local government council in the Swedish city of Trollhättan, where it was claimed that the elderly woman had been wronged after the Muslim caregiver had refused to buy certain food items she had been paid to pick up.

The incident sparked a debate in the community, leading local Liberal Party member Eva Castberger to pen an article for newspaper TTela in which she argued that the religion of the caregiver should not have mattered and she should have carried out the tasks she was paid to perform.

“Not a word was said about the discrimination the elderly woman suffered when she was refused to get the food purchased as she wanted,” Castberger added.

The story was also picked up by Swedish national newspaper Expressen, in which columnist Csaba Bene Perlenberg argued that Sweden should encourage secular values.

“Faithfulness is a private matter and nothing that should affect other people in one’s occupation,” Perlenberg wrote.

The incident is just the latest cultural clash between traditional Swedish society and newly arrived Islamic immigrants.

In many cases, Swedes have been in support of Islamic culture, which was evidenced in a Dutch documentary from earlier this year in which a Swedish migrant helper advocated the practice of polygamy.

A team of researchers from the University of Uppsala even attempted to claim Islam had been in Sweden since the Viking age, reporting that they had found Islamic script on Viking-era artefacts. The claim was later dismissed as fake by an expert on Medieval Islam from the United States.

Conflicts have also arisen in certain areas like in the no-go Stockholm suburbs where Swedish feminists have been forced to leave because of harassment from Islamic extremists.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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