After the a string of attacks on mosques in Sweden, locals are expressing solidarity with Muslims by staging rallies on Friday. Under the banner of “Don’t touch my mosque”, thousands gathered in major cities Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo to condemn the attacks, says a report by Al Jazeera.
In the city of Uppsala, a mosque which had anti-Muslim rhetoric scribbled on the walls was “love-bombed” by locals who pasted heart-shaped paper cutouts to show solidarity with Muslims before Friday prayers. A day before the “love-bombing”, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the Uppsala mosque. However, there was no fire.
Three attacks that were spaced out by only a few days in the last week of December occurred at mosques in Eskilstuna, Eslov and most recently in Uppsala. Five were injured in the Eskilstuna attack.
The attacks occurred at a time when Islamophobia and racism against immigrants in Sweden is on the rise, although locals play their role in supporting the Muslims in the country.
Sweden’s leftist Prime Minister Stefan Lofven also denounced what he called the spurt of “hateful violence.”
“We will never tolerate this kind of crime. Those who want to practise their religion should have the right to do so,” Lofven told public radio station SR.
Answering calls to denounce the attack in Eskilstuna by the “Together for Eskilstuna” Facebook page, a large group of people converged on the damaged mosque to show their support.
“Several hundred people were there to deliver a message of friendship,” police spokesman Roland Lindqvist told AFP.