Omas Mustafa. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/Scanpix.
politics

Omar Mustafa quits Social Democrat jobs

Leader of the Islamic Association and newly appointed Social Democrat board member Omar Mustafa has left all of his positions of authority in the Social Democrat party. He took the decision last night, after pressure from party leader Stefan Löfvén that he could not be both leader of the Islamic grouping and a board member for the Social Democrats.

Löfven cited differing attitudes to gender equality between the association and the party as the main reason why Mustafa could not hold both positions.

But in a written comment to news agency TT Mustafa says the pressure to make him leave shows that the Social Democrat party leadership does not believe that a role in the party can be combined with a role in the muslim community. He called it: "A frightening symbol to both muslims and other religious Social Democrats". He has left both his national and local positions in the Social Democratic party.

Mustafa has been at the centre of controversy this week after being elected to the Social Democrats ruling organ last weekend. As leader of the Islamic Association he has taken part in meetings featuring speakers who have previously been known for having anti-semitic and homophobic views. Some in the party called on him to distance himself more from their opinions.

Omar Mustafa himself has said he does not share their views. Peter Weiderud, head of the "Faith and Solidarity" movement for religious Social Democrats called the decision to force Mustafa out of his jobs in the party wrong.

"Swedish muslims are amongst the most progressive in the world, and Omar is one of the most progressive of them", he told TT.

Other members of the Islamic Association have also criticised those who have claimed the group had old-fashioned views on women as part of their associations charters. Instead, they claim, the document cited in the press was part of a series of translated documents on the association's homepage and not official association policy.

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