FaithWorld

UK mosque denounced Stockholm bomber for militancy

lutonA man linked to two bomb blasts in Stockholm at the weekend had stormed out of a mosque in England several years ago and never returned after its leader challenged him over his radical ideas. Taymour Abdulwahab, a Swedish national of Middle Eastern origin who died in one of the blasts he is believed to have triggered, attended an Islamic Center in the town of Luton, southern England, and also studied at the local university. (Photo: Islamic Centre in Luton, December 13, 2010/Eddie Keogh)

Farasat Latif, secretary of the center, told Reuters that Abdulwahab had spent three to four weeks at the mosque in 2006 or 2007 during the month of Ramadan. “He was very friendly, bubbly initially and people liked him. But he came to the attention of our committee for preaching extremist ideas,” Latif told Reuters.

Latif said the centre’s chairman took Abdulwahab aside and told him that his views were incorrect and a “distorted view of Islam.” He was told not to air them again, but after initially agreeing, he resumed preaching his radical views.

“When we realized that he wasn’t going to stop our chairman decided after the early morning prayer in front of the entire congregation to expose him and his views without naming him,” Latif said.

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Swedish Mohammad cartoonist’s house targeted in latest attack

vilks

Lars Vilks in Stockholm March 10, 2010/Bob Strong

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who angered Muslims by portraying the Prophet Mohammad as a dog, has suffered a failed arson attack on his house, but was not home when it happened.

Vilks told Reuters on Saturday that people smashed windows at his house in the small town of Nynashamnsvage in southwest Sweden and tried to light petrol that they threw inside. But the attack resulted only in small damage in the kitchen and on the facade.

Earlier this week, Vilks was assaulted by a man during a lecture after he started showing a video (see below) about homosexuality and religion, particularly Islam. Vilks has been a target for Muslim protests since he depicted the Prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog in 2007.

Swedish Lutheran church to allow gay marriages from Nov. 1

gay-cake-ornamentSweden’s Lutheran church, the Church of Sweden, has decided to conduct gay weddings in the Nordic country from Nov. 1. “We are the first major church to do this,” said Kristina Grenholm, the church’s director of theology. The decision came after the Swedish parliament earlier this year passed legislation allowing homosexuals to legally marry, changing a previous law permitting legal unions but not formal marriage.

“For my part, the right decision was taken, but I can empathise with the many who believe this has gone too fast,” Archbishop of Sweden Anders Wejryd told a news conference.

Sweden’s Lutheran church, which split from the state in 2000 but remains the country’s largest religious community, had previously said it was open to registering same-sex unions but wanted to reserve the term matrimony for heterosexual marriages.