Swedish Public Broadcaster Invited Imam to Explain Easter

A muslim imam prays in the mosque in downtown Sofia on April 5, 2013. Bulgaria is hoping to stop protest-driven suicides, including self-immolations, that have swept the country in recent weeks by organising prayers for all faiths and free psychological counselling.
NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty

Swedish public broadcaster SVT has been criticised after inviting an imam from a controversial school onto a programme to explain the Christian holiday of Easter.

Television programme Helgstudion invited Imam Nasir Ahmad Arif and the Church of Sweden Archbishop Antje Jackelén to discuss Easter and what the holiday meant to them.

“We celebrate that Jesus went from life, to death, and the path to new life. Christ is risen,” Archibishop Jackelén stated, according to Nyheter Idag.

Imam Arif spoke of the Islamic celebration of Aashura, which he claimed was similar to the Jewish celebration of Passover and is recognised by some Muslims as a day to recognise the death of the grandson of their prophet, Mohammed, at the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.

Some criticised SVT for featuring the imam on their programme, including politician Hanif Bali, a member of the centre-right Moderates, who sarcastically stated on Twitter that it was “good” of the broadcaster to invite him, noting that Arif also worked at the controversial Cordoba school.

In February 2020, it was revealed that the Cordoba school held gender-segregated prayers while making young girls sit at the back and young girls were forced to wear headscarves. The school was also reported to have taught extreme interpretations of Islam and is said to be funded by Saudi Arabia.

Several other Swedish Muslim schools have seen similar accusations, with a Gothenburg school being shut down in 2019 over concerns that pupils were being exposed to radical Islamic ideology.

The independent Islamic school Al-Azhar came under criticism in 2017 after it was shown to have segregated pupils by gender on its school buses.

Graduate student in social work at Umeå University Devin Rexvid went as far as comparing the issue to the civil rights movement in the United States during the Jim Crow era.

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

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