Swedish media is reporting that prominent Swedish academics have published an open letter criticizing the public funding for a Muslim youth group linked to the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Sweden. In the letter, three academics from the Swedish National Defense College and Malmö University accuse the Swedish Muslim student group Ibn Rushd of giving a platform to antisemitic speakers and cooperating with misogynists and anti-democratic Islamists. They further criticize the Swedish state agency Folkbildningsrådet for allocating millions of public funds to Ibn Rushd. According to the letter:
Despite continued scandals surrounding the Folkbildningsrådet and Ibn Rushd, our reviews show that there are major shortcomings in the Folkbildningsrådet’s ability to live up to the requirements set by the government for state subsidies for popular education. The question is whether the Folkbildningsrådet’s board will take difficult but necessary measures or whether it chooses to look the other way and just let millions continue to flow into the pockets of organized cheating and crime as well as Islamist and undemocratic activities? [Google Translated]
Ibn Rush, in turn, replied to the letter and denounced the accusations against the group and its partners as “largely devoid of substance.” It asserted that Ibn Rushd does not have any links to the Muslim Brotherhood and called the accusation a “conspiracy theory.” In a counter reply, the three academics dismissed Ibn Rushd’s arguments stating:
If they renounce all ideological identification with MB, they need to explain why they remain in MB’s organizational network. We understand that this is difficult, as Ibn Rushd’s statutes stipulate that upon dissolution, all assets must be transferred to the Islamic Association of Sweden (IFiS). IFiS, in turn, transfers its assets upon dissolution to MB’s umbrella body Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). Case closed. [Google Translated]
The Islamic Association of Sweden is the Swedish member organization of the Council of European Muslims (CEM), previously known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). The CEM, in turn, claims to be an independent umbrella organization representing the interests of Muslims in Europe but, in reality, is an umbrella group comprising the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. The CEM and its member organizations have gained a degree of political legitimacy and are viewed by some as interlocutors for the Muslim communities in Europe.