"Back in Malmo's Rosengard in early April, Bejzat Becirov offers a guided tour of his mosque and Islamic school. Mr Becirov arrived from Macedonia in 1962 and is perhaps a model of a newcomer who has bridged gaps between cultures and religions in his adoptive country.
“This was the first mosque to be built in Scandinavia, it was built in 1984,” he explains. He took no foreign money from international Islamic organisations for its construction, but accepted donations from churches and synagogues in southern Sweden as well as from the local Muslim population.
It is a Friday, and as classes finish, dozens of small children pour out into the spring sunshine. A few girls wear headscarves. Now the first of 3,000 adults arrive for prayer sessions.
“At this mosque 130 languages are spoken, but I tell everyone they must learn Swedish. We have 55,000 members, and 5% of those are ‘original' Swedes,” says Mr Becirov.
In the days after September 11th 2001, Christians, Jews and Muslims held meetings in the classrooms of the Islamic centre.
On April 27th Mr Becirov's mosque and school was largely gutted by fire, with arson suspected."
Källa, The Economist 12 juni 2003:
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