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Muslim Swedish politician resigns amid anti-Semitism charges

(JTA) — A Muslim Swedish politician who came under scrutiny for sympathizing with anti-Semitic preachers resigned from the country’s largest party.

Omar Mustafa, 28, in a statement released over the weekend, announced his resignation from the left-leaning opposition Social Democratic Party. He also wrote that the party’s leadership “has made it impossible to combine a party position and a position in Muslim civil society."

Mustafa, the chairman of the Islamic Association in Sweden, at last week’s party congress was elected to the governing board. 

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 a Stockholm conference the Egypt-born Islamic cleric Salah Sultan, who lives in Ohio, and on several occasion has 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 by-laws state that men and women have different legal status.

Several lawmakers from the Social Democrats and other parties had called on Mustafa to resign over the past week.

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