Swedish opposition party hit by hate row

By Nathalie Rothschild, April 18, 2013
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Sweden’s Social Democrat party is in crisis after it was forced to remove the Swedish Islamic Society president Omar Mustafa from its board just six days after his appointment.

The party came under fire after an anti-racism magazine drew attention to Mr Mustafa’s links to notorious antisemites and virulent anti-Zionists.

Under Mr Mustafa’s presidency, the Islamic Society invited several extremists to speak at its conferences, including the Egyptians Salah Sultan, who has accused Jews of ritual murder of Christians, and Ragheb Al-Serjany, who has claimed Jews control international media.

Another speaker, British-Palestinian Azzam Tamimi, has described Israel as “a cancer”.

As president of the Young Muslims association, Mr Mustafa invited the imam Sheik Abdullah Hakim Quick, who has referred to Jews as “filth” and advocates capital punishment for homosexuals.

In a radio interview, Mr Mustafa defended Quick: “You have to understand that he comes from an environment in South Africa where these kinds of views are quite widespread,” he said.

On Twitter, Mr Mustafa has described the Israeli embassy as a “terror embassy” and urged Sweden to send fighter jets to attack Israel.

Nima Gholam Ali Pour, a Social Democrat politician in Malmö, resigned in protest, claiming Mr Mustafa’s appointment shows the party “lacks any credibility on anti-racist matters”.

Mr Mustafa responded to his critics in the tabloid Aftonbladet.

He claimed that he has “forcibly removed antisemitic placards from demonstrations” in the past and said people who have preached hate should not be given a platform unless they condemn their hateful comments.

On Friday, Erik Nises, spokesman for Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, said that no formal decision had been taken about Mr Mustafa’s future in the party.

“He has to understand that what he has done is wrong and he has to show he means it through statements and actions,” said Mr Nises.

But the criticism intensified and at a crisis meeting on Saturday, the party board forced Mr Mustafa to resign.

Last updated: 10:15am, April 21 2013