Free speech for Islamophobes – National Secular Society

After Norwegian evangelical Christian preacher Runar Søgaard delivered a sermon in Stockholm in which he attacked Islam, describing the Prophet as “a confused paedophile”, the media was quick to find a Muslim extremist prepared to issue a death threat against him.

However, the head of Sweden’s council of imams, Hassan Moussa, said although the comments “injure millions of Muslims all over the world”, they must not lead to violence like the murder last year of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. “We assure all honest Swedes that the tragic developments we witnessed in Holland will not take place here,” Moussa wrote in Expressen newspaper. “Those who cast stones against us will not get stoned in return. We beg those who threatened Søgaard, in the name of Islam, to let Swedish law judge between him and us. Do not under any circumstances take the law into your own hands.” But the Muslim community is suing the preacher for hate crimes. “See you in court, Runar,” Moussa wrote.

And how does Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society report this? Under the headline “Swedish Muslims repudiate violence against anti-Muslim bigot”, perhaps? No, under the headline “No free speech for Islamophobes, say Islamists in Sweden”.

NSS Newsline, 8 May 2005