Islam

Island får sin første moské

Byrådet i Reykjavik har gitt byggetillatelse til sagaøyas første moské. Ikke nok med det: byrådet gir fra seg tomtengratis (altså betaler skattebetalerne), og tomten ligger i et meget attraktivt område i hovedstaden og vil bli et nytt landemerke.

Kritikere av moskéinitiativet sier at moskeen reises med økonomiske midler fra Midtøsten (Qatar?), og at dette vil kunne føre til radikalisering av det muslimske samfunnet i Island.

Så hvor mange muslimer bor i Island? Omlag 1 200 av en befolkning på 320 000 innbyggere, altså 0,4 prosent av øyas totale befolkning. Men den eksponentielle veksten har vært dramatisk: fra under et dusin i 1990 til godt over 1 000 betyr 10 000 prosent økning, skriver Soeren Kern.  Og mye av veksten skyldes ikke bare innvandring men også økende antall konverteringer.

Det har etablert seg to islamske trossamfunn, ett som har ”en broder” i Norge, Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC) med 300 medlemmer, utgått av den ekstreme Jamaat-beveglsen til Maududi i Pakistan. Dette trossamfunnet ledes av en helstøpt islamist og hatpredikant fra Pakistan, Ahmad Seddeq. ICC antas å bli sponset fra Saudi-Arabia. Mens Muslim Association of Iceland(MAI) har 500 medlemmer, og definerer seg som ”moderat”. De to gruppene er således I tottene på hverandre: ICC beskyldes for ekstremisme, og MAI nekter å dele moskélokaler med dem, samtidig som MAI hevder å besitte den rette islam, og dermed den rette representanten for islam i Island.

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Islanske myndigheter vil ikke tillate at det bygges to moskeer.

City officials responded by saying there should be only one mosque and that it should be shared by both groups. «Obviously we won’t be allocating two lots for mosques at this point and we find it natural for them to cooperate on the construction of one mosque,» Páll Hjaltason, the chairman of Reykjavík City’s Urban Planning Council, told the newspaper Fréttabladid.

Seddeq said he was open to the idea of sharing one plot of land, but Tamimi, who submitted his application first, would have none of it. Instead, Tamimi lashed out at Seddeq, accusing him of extremism, fanaticism and oppression in the name of Islam.

«Our application is completely different from theirs,» Salmann said in an interview with the newspaper Fréttabladid. «This is like asking the national church to be with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.»

Tamimi sought to undermine Seddeq’s group by accusing it of being financed by Saudi Arabia. At one point, Tamimi called the police to report members of Seddeq’s group, accusing them of misunderstanding the peaceful nature of Islam, and saying that he feared that Muslim extremists were attempting to gain a foothold in Iceland.

Tamimi also sought to assure the Reykjavík City Council that — unlike Seddeq — his mosque project would not be financed by foreigners and thus would not be promoting extremism.

«If we are going to have a mosque, it must be done according to local considerations,» Tamimi saidin October 2010. «As soon as you lose sight of the source of funding you lose control of what happens subsequently. The experience of other countries teaches that it is wise to reject large foreign investments in religion. Such investors are much more likely to import their own countries’ traditions and not adapt to the traditions in their host country.»

MAI antar at moskeen star klar neste år. Den blir på 800 kvadratemeter, som inkluderer bønnerom, bibliotek og samfunnshus, og den får minareter på 30 fot. Prislappen: 2,5 millioner euro.

Men så skjedde det noe: Tamini, som sa at utenlandsk investor ikke var ønsket av ideologiske årsaker, er likevel på vei ut i verden for å finne sponsoerer.

But now that the Reykjavík mosque project has been given the go-ahead, Tamimi’s group has changed its tune and now admits that foreign donors will be paying for the mosque’s construction costs after all.

During a newspaper interview on September 19 — conducted just a few hours after the mosque project was approved — Sverrir Agnarsson, a convert to Islam who is chairman of Tamimi’s group, the Muslim Association of Iceland, was asked how the mosque would be financed.

«We have received numerous promises,» Agnarsson said. «We are mostly seeking funding from individual foreigners. We have a right to get support from the collective funds of Muslims [the Ummah, or the worldwide community of Muslims]. We are doing all of this in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice to guarantee that all the money coming to us is received legally, and is not associated with any terrorist organizations,» he added.

The idea that foreigners are financing the spread of Islam in Reykjavík does not sit well with many Icelanders.

Tidligere ordfører I Reykjavik, Ólafur F. Magnússon, er en av moskeens skarpeste kritikere, og skrev blant annet følgende i avisa Morgunbladid :

It is a matter of grave concern that it seems to be no problem for Muslims in Iceland to finance such a mosque here in Iceland with money from ‘Muslim/Islamic promotion organizations’ abroad. They could receive financial help from organizations that want to increase Islamic influence in Iceland as well as in other countries. This can be dangerous for our national culture and safety.

Så falt denne kraftsalva om islams grunnleggende målsetting:

Islam is a religion with the goal to eliminate all other religions and to expand all over the world, the West, the Nordic countries…and now even Iceland. The experience in the Nordic countries shows that Muslims are not adapting to society. This has become a huge problem, in Malmö [Sweden] for example. The other day, a mosque was to be built on Trondheim [Norway], but the Norwegian authorities canceled the project because some Saudi Arabian organization was to finance the whole thing.

(Her må jeg korrigere Magnússon. Det handler nok om al-Nor i Tromsø som prøvde å bygge moské finansiert fra Saufi-Arabia.)

Magnússon stiller også spørsmål ved hvorfor byen gir fra seg gratis en meget attraktiv tomt, og han forstår ikke hvorfor politiske organisasjoner og kvinnegrupper er så tolerante overfor en kvinneundertrykkende religion. Deler av svaret ligger i bankkrisen i 2010, som førte et nystartet ytterliggående venstreparti, et regelrett tulleparti, til makten i hovedstaden. Partiet ledes av en standup-komiker, Jón Gnarr, og består av ateister, punkere og poeter.

Critics say the new mosque represents a big step toward achieving Gnarr’s objective.

Da er det bare å velge: le eller gråte?