Islamist group urges Swedish Muslims to boycott election

2:44 min

The Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir is urging Muslims not to vote in September, saying it is "sinful" to participate in non-Islamic elections.

In a video clip, Hizb ut-Tahrir urges Muslims not to participate in the Swedish election because, they say, it is haram – forbidden according to Islam.

The group also approaches Swedish Muslims, for instance outside the Stockholm Mosque. However, Temmam Asbai, chairman of the Islamic Association, which runs the mosque, tells Radio Sweden that they do not support Hizb ut-Tahrir's campaign.

After contacting Hizb ut-Tahrir several times, Radio Sweden received a written, anonymised reply. The group explained that its aim is to "preserve Muslims' Islamic identity". The message behind the ongoing campaign in Sweden is that Muslims ought to be involved and active in society, but that voting is not the only way to have political influence.

According to Kirstine Sinclair, an associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark's Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies, Hizb ut-Tahrir's campaign in Sweden is in line with the group's global strategy and ultimately it aims to establish an Islamic state – a caliphate.