Muslim Swedish politician resigns amid anti-Semitism charges

(JTA) — A Muslim Swedish politician who came under scrutiny for his sympathy for anti-Semitic preachers has resigned from the country’s largest party, the left-leaning Social Democrats. 

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Omar Mustafa, 28, was elected to the governing board of the left-of-center opposition party at last week’s party congress. In a statement released over the weekend, Mustafa, chairman of the Islamic Association in Sweden, announced his resignation in a statement in which he also wrote that the party’s leadership “has made it impossible to combine a party position and a position in Muslim civil society.”

Last week the Swedish magazine Expo Idag revealed that Mustafa showed support on Facebook for anti-Semitic Muslim preachers, including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric who encourages suicide attacks against Israelis and has called the Holocaust “Allah’s punishment.”

Willy Silberstein of the Swedish Committee against Anti-Semitism accused Mustafa of inviting to the conference in Stockholm the Egypt-born Islamic cleric Salah Sultan, who lives in Ohio, and has on several occasion made anti-Semitic statements in sermons. In 2010, during an appearance on Hamas TV, Sultan said Jews use the blood of non-Jews for baking matzahs during Passover.

The Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported that the Islamic Association’s bylaws state that men and women have different legal status.

Several politicians from Sweden’s Social Democratic Party and other parties had called on him to resign over the past week.

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