In Sweden, as in many other suburbs throughout Europe, the repression from which many refugees are fleeing, instead seems to be following them there. Nalin Pekgul, who defines herself as a practicing Muslim and has served as a politician in the Social Democrat Party, stated that in immigrant-settled areas, such as Stockholm’s Tensta suburb, where she lives, the self-appointed “morality police” gather outside assembly rooms to prevent young people from entering if they try to organize parties with music. Islamist organizations in Sweden, Pekgul says, have strengthened their position through support from Saudi Arabia and Sweden’s government agencies, media, political parties and so on.
According to Pekgul, there are many Muslims in in Sweden who have become fundamentalists. For calling public attention to these changes, Pekgul has been called an “Islamophobe”. When, in protest against the extremist Muslims, she began wearing short skirts in Tensta, she was harassed.
Another Muslim, Zeliha Dagli, who came to Sweden from Turkey in 1985 and was an elected representative of the Left Party in Sweden, has fought for women’s rights in Stockholm’s immigrant suburbs for 25 years. In 2015, she wrote:
“Once upon a time I ran away, terrified of my childhood imams in our former homeland. Some of them controlled the girls in the village. Older girls were not allowed to pass through the square in the village, but had to sneak and take detours and make themselves ‘invisible’.
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