Senior Swedish researchers have said taxpayer money is being spent on fringe organisations in the country that aim to spread an activist brand of Islam. They cited the example of an Islamic student union that gets an annual SEK 23 million ($2.3 million) grant from the Adult Education Council (FR).
Writing in the daily newspaper Expressen, the researchers said that the outfit is a politically-oriented group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood's ideological school. The organisation, Ibn Rushd, is targeting new arrivals in the country and the marginalised Muslims living in vulnerable neighbourhoods, said the researchers identified as Magnus Ranstorp and Aje Carlbom.
The researchers, who are both associate professors, said Ibn Rushd has been inviting racist and anti-Semitic speakers as part of its efforts to create an Islamist parallel society within Sweden, a report in Sputnik International said.
"Given that Ibn Rushd has been active as a study association since 2008, it is reasonable to assume that the association has long been aware that anti-Semitism is unacceptable in the Swedish majority society", the researchers said.
The government grants are inadvertently encouraging the spread of a certain activist interpretation of Islam whose stated goal is to establish a 'Muslim parallel society", the report says.
The report also states that the Swedish Agency for Youth and Society (MUCF) had refused to fund the Association of Young Muslims in 2017. The association, which holds together as many as 30 member associations, did not follow the spirit of democracy and engaged in anti-Semitism and homophobia, the government agency had concluded.
Public funding of studies in Arabic and Islam has become counter-productive, the researchers say."Supporting activities that encourage further isolation from the norms and languages of the majority society thus becomes counterproductive, they say.