Swedish police called to “beard brotherhood” meeting mistaken as ISIS fighters

The Bearded Villains were mistaken for members of ISIS, Jason Mellström, Studio Mellström

Swedish counter-terrorism police were called to reports of a group of “bearded men in dark clothes raising a black flag” who were mistaken as ISIS fighters by a member of the public.

But instead of ISIS members, police officers responding to the scene stumbled across a meeting of an international organisation of bearded men.

The Swedish chapter of the “Bearded Villains” met on Saturday for a photo shoot at the ruined castle of Braehus, with members posing with the organisation’s black-and-white flag.

Andreas Fransson, a Bearded Villains member and founder of Ratemybeard.se, wrote on Facebook later that the run-in with officers was “not what we set out for”.

Speaking to The Independent, he explained that it was the Swedish group’s turn to look after the organisation’s crossed-swords flag, and a special effort had been made to organise a photoshoot with it.

“After about an hour the police showed up,” he said. “They told us they got a call from someone driving past on the highway, saying that there were Isis terrorists at the ruins.

“The police saw of course that we weren’t terrorists, just very happy and nice bearded gentlemen,” he said.

Mr Fransson said it was “strange how people are so fast to react” to first appearances.

“We had a laugh with the police and they left,” he said. “It was a surreal experience.”

John Ekeblad, co-leader of the Swedish group, told Sweden’s Metro newspaper that while they laughed about the incident at the time, it highlighted the prejudices bearded men can face.

“It’s one of the foundations of our brotherhood, that you should not judge others before you know the facts,” he said. “It’s the same with beards – each and every day you hear someone say you are a terrorist.”

As you’re here…

5Pillars have one humble request from you…

Thousands of Muslims around the world visit our website for news every day. Due to the unfortunate reality of covering Muslim-related news in a heightened Islamophobic environment, our advertising and fundraising revenues have decreased significantly.

5Pillars is editorially and financially independent, with no sectarian or political allegiance to any particular group or movement. Our journalism has been exclusively grassroots focussed and our sole purpose is to defend Islam and Muslims in the media.

This makes us unique in comparison to other online Muslim media outlets who are neither independently regulated by a reputable body nor are they managed by qualified journalists.

Our journalism takes time, money and effort to deliver. But we do it because we believe we have a duty to Allah (swt).

You may not agree or like everything we publish. However, which other Muslim news site that is run by experienced journalists will take on the responsibility of being a shield for Islam and Muslims in the media?

If you follow 5Pillars, and you understand its importance in today’s climate, then please support us for as little as £5 a month, it only takes a minute to make a donation. Jazakallah khayran.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:“The best deeds are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Ibn Mājah]

 

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT 5PILLARS

Add your comments below