Mystery attackers vandalise Muslim, Christian graveyards in Sweden

Mystery attackers vandalise Muslim, Christian graveyards in Sweden
At least 20 Muslim and Orthodox Christian graveyards were vandalised by unknown attackers at the Ostra Cemetery in southern Sweden amid a wave of Islamophobia in the country.
2 min read
03 May, 2022
Muslims found the vandalised graves when they went to pray for their relatives [File photo: Getty]

Police officers in Sweden are investigating the vandalism of graves belonging to Muslims and Orthodox Christians by unidentified attackers, according to reports.

Muslims who went to pray for their deceased relatives at the Ostra Cemetery on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday on Monday noticed around 20 graves were deliberately damaged and contacted the police, according to Swedish newspaper SvD

Many tombstones were graffitied with red paint by the unknown attackers at the cemetery in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, said spokesperson Nils Norling.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Swedish police said they are currently unable to identify the perpetrators and pledged eyewitnesses to contact them to assist with the ongoing investigation.

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The attack comes amid increased tensions with Muslims in the country.

Ramus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish politician who leads the far-right Stram Kurs ("Hard Line") party, said during Ramadan that he burned a copy of the Quran and planned more during a series of rallies.

His announcement sparked a wave of Islamophobic attacks and clashes with far-right protesters in the Nordic country.

Paludan was previously banned from Sweden after he burnt a Quran in 2020 but was given permission for a series of demonstrations over the Easter weekend. 

Sweden’s Justice Minister Morgan Johansson defended Paludan's demonstrations as an act of freedom of expression and condemned the "serious violence" that ensued.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Egypt all condemned the incident.