The AIK Ultras are some crazy ass, Swedish soccer fans.
I didn’t believe how crazy until I got to the 2:30 mark of this video.
Basically, they’re nuts. Among their love for rioting and mild arson, the AIK Ultras like to wear black masks inside the stadium. They were allowed to up until March when a comprehensive ban on wearing masks at Swedish sports arenas was enacted. Ultra pissed off Ultra members fought back by wearing niqabs, a traditional Muslim outfit that only reveals the eyes, because religious wear was exempt from the mask ban.
“AIK’s ultras mean well. We’re now wearing masks for religious reasons.”
“Freedom for ultras is the ultimate goal. Thanks for the loophole.”
The Swedish lawmaker that pushed the law saw the protest as clever, and he laughed off the matter. But as the Washington Post’s Marissa Payne explains, the relationship between some of these fans and Muslims living in Sweden hasn’t been friendly. Earlier this year, several AIK ultras as well rival fans, stormed a train station in Stockholm to attack anyone who looked foreign.
Anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise all over Europe. A new report details a rise in hate crime all over the continent. The German interior ministry says more than 3,500 attacks against migrants from Muslim countries occurred in 2016, compared with 1,031 in 2015.