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April 23, 2013 5:30 PM   Subscribe

This is why we can't have nice things. Swedish SAP ousts substitute member of the governing board, over issues stemming from his role as chairman of the Swedish Islamic Association. Media outlets are found to have been fast and loose in their reports concerning the member.

the municipal district came out of the woodwork describing that part of the problem related to "values". His founding of the non-profit organisation "Heart" non-withstanding.

and today, at a press-conference hosted by the former member we find out that his much criticized role as chairman of the Swedish Islamic Association ends in two weeks.

Meanwhile, Ilmar Reepalu is still a high-value asset of the party.
posted by xcasex (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by benito.strauss at 5:34 PM on April 23, 2013

oh, curse my sudden but inevitable eurocentrism! SAP The Swedish social democratic party. :)
posted by xcasex at 5:37 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have to admit, I'm confused here (I know, I am easily confused. It's the advance of time, I think.) But has he straightforwardly said that men and women, gay and straight, Jew and Muslim, must be fully equal under the law, or has he not? If he believes in a version of Islam which can say that, then I don't see why he's not as good a Social Democrat as anyone. If he can't or won't say it, how is he a Social Democrat at all? Or is the issue that he won't strongly enough condemn others?
posted by tyllwin at 6:03 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

tyllwin, the former, many times. he's also led and cofounded several non-profits & workgroups to that effect. and I believe part of the issue relates to the media dredging against him which made the party see him as a liability. Which make me think the issue here is structural/institutional as opposed to media related, as a whole. (i.e they have a straight white cis-male as a "mayor" in one of Swedens largest cities, who's openly hostile towards jews)
posted by xcasex at 6:13 PM on April 23, 2013

The media must seriously dislike this guy, then. Even the source linked above says

He underlined that he stands behind the Swedish marriage law, “which among other things gives homosexuals the right to marry”. He also stated that he sees “women’s rights as human rights” and underlined his belief in “a society which is characterized by diversity and equality”.

which very carefully dances around "fully equal." If "fully equal" is what he believes, he ought to get credit for that.
posted by tyllwin at 6:18 PM on April 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've seen the term Islamophobia being thrown around a lot. It's not any kind of phobia to point out that there's been a rise in attacks on Jews in Europe and that it's been mostly young men from North Africa and the Middle East doing the attacking. This is simply what's happening. Just like all Jews everywhere shouldn't be expected to take the blame for things happening in Israel, it's not reasonable to expect the entire Muslim community to take blame for the actions of a few hotheads. But when purported leaders in that community claim that the problem isn't really happening, and they're given political cover from left wing parties who blame the Jewish victims for daring to be visibly Jewish, well, wtf is going on?
posted by 1adam12 at 6:53 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

His primary weakness seems to be an annoyingly persistent habit of (inadvertently?) inviting out-and-proud homophobes and antisemites as speakers/honorees at his society's events. That's gotta hurt any mortal non-Republican's political image, surely. Is there room for him in the SD?
posted by perhapsolutely at 6:59 PM on April 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Sweden does have a serious problem with antisemitism, part of which can be blamed on elements in the SAP. I don't know whether this guy actually has anything to do with the problem, but it is one that the SAP and Sweden have to deal with.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:56 PM on April 23, 2013

To be fair, Joe, Sweden seems to have a pretty serious problem with racism towards Muslims, too. Perhaps the problem is not so much an antisemitism problem, or islamaphobic problem, but rather a problem with cultural diversity and difference more generally?

I don't know enough to say, but I think it's clear there are significant problems for perceived "outsiders" in Sweden. How this compares to other countries, I don't know.
posted by smoke at 9:44 PM on April 23, 2013

I find the editorial bias in this post a little disingenuous. This guy can say whatever he wants but he is the leader of an organization with values that are clearly incompatible with Sweden or any modern democracy. I say this in fact as a muslim immigrant to united states so please understand that I know exactly what game this guy is playing and his ouster is fully justified.
posted by trol at 10:22 PM on April 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

he is the leader of an organization with values that are clearly incompatible with Sweden or any modern democracy

Clearly? Perhaps I'm missing something. I don't really know much about this organization, and these articles don't provide much detail in depth about it. Can you provide some background?
posted by snottydick at 1:50 PM on April 24, 2013

he is the leader of an organization with values that are clearly incompatible with Sweden or any modern democracy.

Said values, like.. working for womens rights, hbtq-rights, and debating against extremists? yeah, we dont need that shit in modern democracies.
posted by xcasex at 3:21 PM on April 24, 2013

I get it that he seems to be liberal and democratic, but trol was referring to the Swedish Islamic Association, not Mustafa himself. From what I understand it's an umbrella group and it's there to represent and support its members, not work for liberal democracy. It also has a bad history with antisemitism, like inviting speakers who literally accuse Jews of killing people and drinking their blood. I don't know whether the choice he was offered was a fair one, but he was told that he couldn't both be the chairman of the Swedish Islamic Association and be on the board of SAP.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:29 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

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