World

Swedes rally in support of Muslims after arson attacks against mosques

  • Two policemen stand outside a mosque in Uppsala, Sweden, Friday, Jan.  2, 2015 as police tighten security around some of Sweden’s main mosques. The mosque suffered a firebomb attack on Jan. 1, one of three arson attacks targeting the Muslim community in Sweden since Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Anders Wiklund)  SWEDEN OUT

    Two policemen stand outside a mosque in Uppsala, Sweden, Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 as police tighten security around some of Sweden’s main mosques. The mosque suffered a firebomb attack on Jan. 1, one of three arson attacks targeting the Muslim community in Sweden since Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Anders Wiklund) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Boys read the messages placed at the entrance of a mosque by neighbors pledging their support after an attack, in Uppsala, Sweden, Friday, Jan.  2, 2015.  The mosque suffered a firebomb attack on Jan. 1, one of three arson attacks targeting the Muslim community in Sweden since Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Anders Wiklund)  SWEDEN OUT

    Boys read the messages placed at the entrance of a mosque by neighbors pledging their support after an attack, in Uppsala, Sweden, Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. The mosque suffered a firebomb attack on Jan. 1, one of three arson attacks targeting the Muslim community in Sweden since Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Anders Wiklund) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Two young girls carrying leaflets saying "don't touch my mosque" participate in a demonstration at the  parliament in Stockholm on Friday  Jan. 2, 2015. Three mosques have suffered arson attacks in Sweden since Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Fredrik Sandberg) SWEDEN OUT

    Two young girls carrying leaflets saying "don't touch my mosque" participate in a demonstration at the parliament in Stockholm on Friday Jan. 2, 2015. Three mosques have suffered arson attacks in Sweden since Christmas Day. (AP Photo/Fredrik Sandberg) SWEDEN OUT  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of demonstrators in three major Swedish cities have rallied in support of Muslims, condemning recent arson attacks against mosques in which at least five people were injured.

Anti-racist demonstrators in the capital, Stockholm, waved placards and a banner with the words "Don't touch my mosque," as Muslim community leaders addressed the gathering preaching tolerance.

Last week, five people were injured in an arson attack against a mosque in the central city Eskilstuna which was also vandalized a day later.

The Friday rallies, also held in the south-western cities of Malmo and Goteborg, follow a recent rise in anti-immigrant sentiment in Sweden, known for its policies of tolerance in a country where more than 20 percent of the 10 million population has foreign roots.