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Meet Sweden’s Muslim Minister: She wants to b an girls from wearing the hijab

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  • Tarek Fatah
    Nyamko Sabuni wants all girls checked for evidence of female circumcision; criminalize arranged marriages and end state funding of religious school Helena
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2009
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      Nyamko Sabuni wants all girls checked for evidence of female circumcision; criminalize arranged marriages and end state funding of religious school



      Helena Frith Powell
      The Sunday Times, UK

      THE latest media darling of Scandinavian politics is not only black, beautiful and Muslim; she is also firmly against the wearing of the veil.

      Nyamko Sabuni, 37, has caused a storm as Sweden’s new integration and equality minister by arguing that all girls should be checked for evidence of female circumcision; arranged marriages should be criminalised; religious schools should receive no state funding; and immigrants should learn Swedish and find a job.

      Supporters of the centre-right government that came to power last month believe that her bold rejection of cultural diversity may make her a force for change across Europe. Her critics are calling her a hardliner and even an Islamophobe.

      “I am neither,” she said in an interview. “My aim is to integrate immigrants. One is to ensure they grow up just as any other child in Sweden would.”

      Sabuni believes all immigrants must try to become proficient in Swedish — just as she did when she arrived from Africa aged 12 — rather than alienating locals.

      “Language and jobs are the two most crucial things for integration,” she said. “If you want to become a Swedish citizen, we think you should have some basic knowledge of Swedish.”

      An elegant, vivacious woman who uses subtle make-up and wears soft clothes in pastel shades and tight woollen sweaters, she argues for a total ban on veils being worn by girls under the age of consent, which is 15 in Sweden.

      “Nowhere in the Koran does it state that a child should wear a veil; it stops them being children. By putting a veil on a girl you are immediately saying to the outside world that she is sexually mature and has to be covered. It’s wrong,” she said.

      Sabuni was born in Burundi. Her father was a political dissident who was in prison during much of her early childhood. In 1980 he was granted asylum in Sweden. The next year his wife and six children joined him and they settled near Stockholm.

      [To read the rest of the report, click http://www.AverroesPress.com ]


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