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Islamic Party Established in Finland

An Islamic political party has been established in Finland. Currently the party only has a few dozen members, but it aims to achieve the 5,000 signatures needed to gain a place on the official register of parties by the end of this year.

The aims of the Islamic Party include the removal of alcoholic beverages from grocery shops and kiosks, and achieving exemption for Muslim students from school subjects that they consider to be opposed to Islamic values.

Party chair Abdullah Tammi, a Finnish convert to the faith, told YLE that the fledgling party aims to gain two seats in the Helsinki city council in next year's local elections. He added the party expects support from a large proportion of Finland's estimated 30,000 to 55,000 Muslims as well as from others who shared its views, for example, on the ending of alcohol sales in grocery stores.

The party also intends to field candidates in general elections in 2011.

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