Swedish Social Democrat Omar Mustafa, who also chairs Sweden’s Islamic Association (Islamiska Förbundet), resigned from all his duties with the party on Saturday night, bowing to calls from within the party that he leave the governing board, reports The Local.
Islamiska Förbundet has invited to Sweden speakers with known anti-Semitic views. The Swedish anti-racism magazine Expo revealed that one speaker invited by Mustafa, Egyptian Salah Sultan, had previously slandered the Jewish community in an interview with al-Jazeera by saying they kill Christians on Easter. Another speaker invited by the Swedish Islamic group, Ragheb Al-Serjany, had publicly said Jews control the international media.
The Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism chairman Willy Silberstein told The Local: “When you are an established organization and invite speakers, you give them legitimacy.”
According to the news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå, the Islamic Association’s bylaws state that men and women have different legal status.
Mustafa’s announcement came following a Saturday night crisis meeting among Social Democrats in Stockholm who had previously lobbied to have him included in the party’s governing board.
“Knowing what we know now and considering how events unfolded, the situation became unsustainable. I therefore urged him to resign,” Veronica Palm, chair of the Social Democrats in Stockholm, told TT.
Mustafa, 28, was chosen to sit on the governing board of the left-of-center opposition party at last weekend’s party congress.
Former Social Democratic Party leader Mona Sahlin has questioned her peers for electing a member with ties to anti-Semitic propagandists to the governing board. “One has to go public and say that you cannot act the way he has done,” Sahlin told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
“The party leadership believes that having a mandate within the party and within Muslim civil society is incompatible,” Mustafa wrote in an open letter. “The party leadership’s view isn’t only regrettable, it’s also a frightening signal to Muslims and other Social Democrats who are people of faith,”
“I therefore feel that the party leadership doesn’t have confidence in me and have forced me to resign from all my duties in the party.”