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Swedish Muslim leader forced to resign

Wednesday April 17, 2013 08:27:59 PM, IINA

Stockholm: Becoming a victim of unfounded attacks and conspiracy theories about Islam, a Swedish Muslim has been forced to quit his duties with the Social Democrats party.

“The party leadership believes that having a mandate within the party and within Muslim civil society is incompatible,” Omar Mustafa wrote in an open letter cited by The Local newspaper.


“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", he added.


Mustafa, 28, who chairs Sweden’s Islamic Association, was chosen to sit on the governing board of the left-of-center opposition party at last weekend's party congress. But later members demanded his ouster over claims of hosting speakers known for alleged anti-Semitic views by the Islamic Association.

Party officials defended the decision on ground that the Muslim members held views that contradict with the party’s values.


“Knowing what we know now and considering how events unfolded, the situation became unsustainable,” Veronica Palm, chair of the Social Democrats in Stockholm, told TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyra) news agency. “I therefore urged him to resign.”


Palm explained that she and her colleagues had nominated Mustafa to the Social Democrats’ governing board because he had done a good job for the party in Stockholm.


“We thought he had valuable experience that could contribute to the party on a national level.” Mustafa “had never shown values other than those held by the Social Democrats,” she said.

Party officials argue that the Muslim politician had to cope with the party’s values about equality between men and women.


“You can't hold an elected position within the Social Democrats unless you can fully stand up for the party's values that all human beings are equal and for equality between women and men," party leader Stefan Löfven said.


"These are the values which we base our whole political platform on. This is inviolable." But the Muslim politician hit back, saying he was a victim of “unfounded attacks and conspiracy theories about Islam, Muslims, and Muslim organizations", Stefan said.


Despite leaving his duties with the party, Mustafa vowed to continue working within Muslim civil society for “justice, equality, and human rights.”


“I plan to continue my work with Swedish-Muslim identity, against racism in all its forms, and for a more just national and international policy,” he wrote.

Muslims make up between 450,000 and 500,000 of Sweden’s nine million people, according to the US State Department report in 2011.


Islam, as a divine religion, sets down rules that strike a balance between men's responsibilities and women's rights.


Woman is recognized by Islam as the full and equal partner of the man in the procreation of humankind.


By this partnership, she has an equal share in every aspect.


She is entitled to equal rights, she undertakes equal responsibilities, and she has as many qualities and as much humanity as her partner.


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