BERLIN – The Social Democratic party of Sweden – the country’s largest political
party – has been accused of failing to confront anti-Semitism within the party’s
Omar Mustafa, chairman of the Islamic Association in Sweden who
was recently elected to the governing board of the Social Democratic party, was on Monday
the subject of an expose in the Swedish anti-racist magazine Expo for
questionable ties to documented anti-Semites.
On Facebook, Mustafa
“liked” the page of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian theologian who has called for
suicide bombings against Israelis.
In a recorded speech in 2009 on
YouTube, Qaradawi justified the Holocaust, saying, “Throughout history, Allah
has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption.
The last punishment was carried out by Hitler.”
Mustafa also elicited
criticism when he invited the Egyptians Salah Sultan and Ragheb al-Serjany to a
conference in Sweden.
“These people have been openly anti- Semitic. Both
have spread anti-Semitic propaganda,” Willy Silberstein of the Swedish Committee
Against Anti-Semitism told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday from
“Salah Sultan claimed on the television channel Al Jazeera
that the Jews during Passover committed ritual murder of Christians by using
blood in unleavened bread.”
Silberstein added that Serjany asserted that
Jews control the international media.
In his discussions with
Mustafa, said Silberstein, the Social Democrat said he would invite the
Egyptians again as long as they do not say any anti-Semitic things when they are
Silberstein objected to this way of thinking, arguing Serjany
and Sultan are given credibility solely by being invited.
emails to the Social Democratic party headquarters for a response to Mustafa’s
appointment, including the party’s head, Stefan Löfven, were not
But on Twitter, Social Democratic MP Veronica Palm welcomed
Mustafa to the board of governors, writing, “Congrats, [you] joined me in
Stockholm representatives in the [Social] Democratic party.”
called on the Social Democratic leader to speak up against Mustafa’s connections
“When someone like [Mustafa] is elected to lead the
biggest political party in Sweden, it allows anti-Semitism to make a step
forward,” he said. “Anti-Semitism is a problem in Sweden.”
Abramowicz, the secretary-general of the Swedish-Israel Information Center, told
the Post that Mustafa “should be removed from the board because he is still
fluffy on what he thinks.”
She noted it would “never be accepted if
raving lunatics” made comments by other parties. “The person who invited such a
person would be forced to leave the party.”
As the largest party in the
Swedish government, the Social Democratic party carries great weight among the
media and public opinion.
Critics of the Social Democrats say they have
been immersed in anti-Semitism scandals over the years.
In addition to
the allegations of anti-Semitism facing Mustafa, last year the Social Democratic
mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu, was also charged with anti-Semitism by Swedish
Reepalu said last year that the Swedish Democratic party had
infiltrated the town’s Jewish community to spread hate of Muslims.
Posner Körösi, the chairwoman of the central Jewish council in Sweden and the
Jewish community in Stockholm, tagged Reepalu as an “anti-Semite” in the Swedish
Christian daily Världen idag because of his hate directed at Jews.
2010, a group of Muslims in Malmö shouted “Sieg Heil” and “Hitler, Hitler,” and
threw rocks and bottles at a small group of Jews peacefully demonstrating in
support of Israel.
Reepalu said in 2010 that Sweden’s Jews were largely
culpable for the violence inflicted on them because they didn’t “distance”
themselves from Israel and the IDF operation during the Gaza war.
has a population of 290,000 of which Muslim immigrants make up approximately 20
percent and out of Sweden’s population of 9 million, there are 450,000 Muslims.