Saturday, January 3, 2015

In Sweden, the Land of the Open Door, Anti-Muslim Sentiment Finds a Foothold

Paper hearts were hung on a gutted mosque in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Investigators said they suspected an arson attack. Credit Alexander Mahmoud for The New York Times
ESKILSTUNA, Sweden — As Khalif Samantar knelt for afternoon prayers at the Eskilstuna Islamic Dawa Center on Christmas Day, he sensed a growing heat and a low, rushing sound coming from a nearby hallway. He focused his mind on the ritual, only to realize seconds later that someone was shouting, “The mosque is on fire!”

Mr. Samantar sprang through an open window and rushed through the snow in his stocking feet for help. Though about 70 people were inside the mosque at the time, no one was injured.

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