Sweden: Prime Minister calls on companies to offer Muslims services
The Swedish Prime Minister spent the first day of
Ramadan learning more about halal products. At the slaughterhouse in
Johanneshov, Fredrik Reinfeldt spoke of how important multiculturalism
is for Sweden.
The moderate fight for freedom must also be
about empowering New Sweden, supporting integration and getting rid of
a lot of unnecessary regulations that create value clashes in Swedish
society. This is a task for the government, said Frederik Reinfeldt
when he visited Qibbla Halal Kött
i Johanneshov. A 30 [ed: meant 13] year old company with 26 employees
who work with different halal products produced according to Muslim
traditions and which get go-ahead from the Swedish authorities.
this Reinfeldt started off the fall visiting tour where he would
especially meet and speak with immigrants about discrimination and
value questions. In the past he had similarly gone about the rest of
the country and visited small businesses, employment services and met
with women in the public sector.
Both Diler Mustafa Taher, one
of the company’s founders, and IT-manager Namir Zetali, tell of their
quick success, they sell their meat products all over Sweden, Finland
and Denmark. They have gotten one of the biggest chains, Coop, to sell
their halal meat. On the other hand, several other chains have
“They are concerted of losing their regular customers
as it’s called and line up a large problem. They don’t seem to
understand that instead they’ll get many new customers,” says Namir
In the more than an hour long talk Fredrik Reinfeldt addressed the same subject.
very strange that large companies don’t look for their own best
interests. Here we have over 40,000 Muslims who live in Sweden and as
orthodox Muslims want to have their halal meat. There is certainly a
demand and money to be made, but they do not take advantage of it
because of ignorance or in the worst case prejudices.”
to it that there room for prayer in the workplace and not to
unnecessarily create prohibitions on wearing a headscarf if it’s not
clearly inappropriate, are examples for efforts to minimize the value
“Here people show in practice how to build integration.
We must show more respect for other cultural traditions, they almost
never threaten any Swedish values, they can be side by side,” says
He also believes that the debate about the honor problem dominates too much at the expense of tolerance issues.
must be fought on many levels, but mostly through disseminating
knowledge. It’s only in this way that we can increase tolerance and
therefore we mustn’t only end up discussing honor violence.”