SWEDEN – The infamous suburbs of Husby and Tensta in Stockholm has been a cause for concern specially to feminists as these no-go zones are now being ‘ruled’ by Islamic fundamentalists.
Nalin Pekgul, a native Swedish feminist and a former parliament member for the Swedish Social Democrats, a left-wing political party has lived in the suburb of Tensta for over 30 years. Pekgul says that she no longer feels safe living in the suburb as she claims that Muslim fundamentalists have taken over and that she can no longer roam Tensta without being harassed.
In a report by Swedish news outlet SVT, Ms. Pegkul explained that the treatment of women in public places in Tensta has deteriorated due to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. The change is evident specially in the last couple of years as men, mostly coming from migrant backgrounds have been harassing women who do not comply to their Islamic culture.
Ms. Pekgul said: “In Tensta I am a known face and I have no desire to stir up trouble when I get harassed.” She indicated that she no longer roam the streets and goes to the center of the suburb. As for her plans of staying in Tensta, she said: “I always hope that it will blow over. One should never forget that the vast majority here are cursing the fundamentalists.”
Similar situations are also felt by women in the no-go suburb of Husby. Zeliha Dagli who is also a former member of the Left Party said that the suburb even has a self-appointed “morality police” that tries to control women’s behavior to conform to their Islamic beliefs.
Feminists living in the suburb feel that aggression towards them has been a major issue in the area. Dagli said: “There were rumors that we wanted to take away women’s veils.” She adds: “They said that I should keep myself, and then I did not feel so safe anymore.”
Ms. Dagli has now been living in the inner city of Stockholm and said that she is now happy that she can wear whatever she wants and say anything without fear of reprisal from the Islamic fundamentalists or the so-called “morality police”. As for returning to Husby, she said that she is open to the idea only if the suburb will become safe for women like her once again.
Husby and Tensta, just like the no-go suburb of Rinkeby is heavily populated by Muslim migrants coming from Africa and the Middle East. The migration crisis caused the swelling of the population of Muslim migrants which has now taken over the suburbs way of life. No conformist to the Islamic way of life has been harassed. Police, media film crews and news reporters have even been attacked when entering into these suburbs.
With the current situation in these suburbs as well as the overall situation in Europe, it may seem that the worries of the Swedish feminists living in the area as well as other native Swedes may be far from over and with the influx of more migrants, it could be that their problems is only just beginning.