The leader of the Swedish Feminist Initiative party has hit back at critical reports of a local Islamic school segregating children by gender, claiming the problems in migrant-populated no-go zones is not with Islam, but with men and racism.Feminist Initiative (FI) leader Victoria Kawesa hit out at critics of her party claiming that children at a Muslim school being segregated on a school bus and in classes was a result of “the patriarchy” and not a problem originating from the religion of Islam, Expressen reports.
FI was slammed by Iranian-born Moderate Party MP Hanif Bali who said: “FI can not even diagnose the problem, let alone come up with some solutions to the problem.” Mr Bali, who grew up in the migrant-heavy no-go Stockholm suburb of Husby, said the type of attitudes shown by the school was common in the suburb. He commented his family confirmed that the only way to enact change is for the entire community to be behind it.
Kawesa fired back claiming that “this patriarchal oppression is in the whole of society”.
“Patriarchy exists in all religions, nationalities and skin colours. The common denominator is men’s oppression and domination.”
The FI leader also blamed racism saying, “there is a culture of racist policies that rather aggravates problems and prevents us from seeing the real causes of the oppression of patriarchy.”
On Tuesday, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven also commented on the story saying that he found the actions of the school to be “disgusting”.
“If this is in any way sanctioned by the school, I think that such a school should be closed,” the prime minister said.
The television programme Cold Facts, which aired the story, also talked about the situation for women in the migrant-populated suburbs of Stockholm. One woman told the programme that she had been harassed by local Islamic fundamentalists simply for having a pet dog.
Feminists in the area are also leaving the suburbs because of the harassment. A former Left Party politician decided to leave after attempting to introduce feminist concepts to the area but was harassed and threatened by locals.
The local government in Husby announced they would try and tackle the issue of female harassment by employing “feminist urban planning” which would see more street lights added to the centre of the suburb and a cafe moved to make women feel safer. Despite the efforts, the owners of the cafe do not believe the move will have much of an effect in the area.