Sweden: Ex-moderate Muslim to form 'anti-Zionist' party

Sweden: Ex-moderate Muslim to form 'anti-Zionist' party

Swedish Radio has an segment in English on the topic.

About a month ago Arbetaren, the newspaper of an anarcho-syndicalist trade union federation in Sweden, interviewed pro-Palestine activist Andreas Malm about Mohamed Omar and Lasse Wilhelmsson.  The two had organized an "Al Quds Day" demonstration which also drew several Nazis.  In honor of the day Omar gave several interviews to Nationell idag, the periodical of the National Democrats and in an interview to a Swedish nationalist site he declared that Al-Quds day is the "only anti-Israel demonstration in Sweden out of the leftist-Jewish control.

The Omar demonstration took place just after a demonstration against the regime in Iran and the two groups started cursing each other and throwing eggs and tomatoes.  Omar and Wilhelmsson praised the Iranian regime and particularly ayatollah Khomeini.  Malm says that what Mohamed Omar is doing will confirm all the absolutely worst ideas about Muslims.

Q: What is the driving force for Nazis to work together with Islamists?

A: There's a sort of rift within the extreme right, where certain people think the main enemy is the Muslims, and others think that the main enemy are the Jews.   On the basis of that they can ally with almost anyone.  The Nazis who think that the Jews are the main enemy can ally with Muslims who they perceive to be on the same basis.  But that doesn't mean that either side has any sympathy for either Muslims or Jews.

Q: What do you think about Omar and Wilhelmsson making the same demand as you in the Palestine Movement, to free Palestine and boycott Israel?

A: I'ts just as disgusting as when National Democrats and other Nazis stood up in the past and tried to hold demonstrations for Palestine.  Their agenda deals only with hatred against the Jewish people.  Omar is not interested in Palestine in the slightest.  He writes nothing about the occupied territories or how Palestinians are faring, but it's just about the great Jewish conspiracy who have control on the entire Earth, that is, classical antisemitism.  And that should be fought, just as racists should always be fought.

Q: Is there a risk that Mohamed Omar will aggravate Islamophobia in Sweden?

A: Yes, certainly.  He has positioned himself as a spokesperson for Muslims in Sweden, which he's not of course. Many Muslims responded and think that Omar is completely dumb.

Palestinian groups in Sweden and the International solidarity movement rejected Omar's and Wilhelmsson's demonstration.  "Antisemitism has no place in the Palestinian movement," wrote ISM Stockholm on their site.

Source: Arbetaren (Swedish)


A former moderate Muslim spokesperson who last year came out as an Islamic radical wants to start a political party uniting all of Sweden's ant-Zionists.

According to Mohamed Omar, a 34-year-old author and commentator born in Uppsala in eastern Sweden, he is prepared to welcome all political stripes into his new party – from the radical left and Islamic extremists to neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists – as long as they subscribe to the party's core principles.

"Everyone is welcome as a part of our slogan, but no one is going to be able to push us in a certain direction. We're not going to focus on Islamic questions, but only on anti-Zionism in order to reach out to as many as possible," Omar told the Sveriges Radio (SR) documentary programme Kaliber.

Omar's website features interviews with known Holocaust deniers and others who hold anti-Semitic views.

The Omar of today is a far cry from the measured and moderate man who once edited one of Sweden's most respected Muslim publications, Minaret magazine and condemned protests by Muslims angered by the 2007 decision of Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda to publish a drawing by artist Lars Vilks depicting the head of Muslim prophet Muhammad on a dog's body.

"I think the demonstration is counterproductive and will only serve to reinforce any prejudices people have about Muslims," Omar told The Local in August 2007.

"Nerikes Allehanda published the picture to illustrate a story. It's irrational to regard their decision to publish as being offensive to Muslims."

According to Omar, Israeli incursions into the Gaza strip in the second half of 2008 played a key role in his radicalization.

"Last week I joined a protest against Israel for the first time," Omar wrote in an opinion article published in the Expressen newspaper on January 9th, 2009.

"The latest bloodbath was simply too much. I felt forced to take a public stance. But not only that. I decided to support Hamas and Hezbollah – the Islamic resistance movements."

He concludes by declaring, "I'm a radical Muslim. And I say that with pride."

Soon thereafter he began arguing that Zionism was to blame for a number of Sweden's problems, including the disturbances which plagued the Rosengård neighbourhood in Malmö in December 2008.

"Besides, the big threat today is the Zionists. Today there are Zionists collecting money for the Israeli murder machine which used the money to burn children," Omar said on the Sveriges Television's Aktuellt news programme broadcast on January 29th.

A number of former allies have distanced themselves from Omar following his radicalization, including the current editor of Minaret, Abd al Haqq Kielan.

"He's basically become a full blown extremist, seasoned with a bit if Islamic spice, but he doesn't represent Islam in any way," Kielan told Kaliber.

Even members of Sweden's Palestinian movement (Palestinarörelsen) had kept their distance from the new Omar.

"Today he functions as sort of front man for fascism in this country and he pushes the absolutely most egregious anti-Semitic propaganda that I've seen in a long time," said commentator and Palestinian movement supporter Andreas Malm to SR.

"What upset me most is that he's trying to dress it up as pro-Palestinian."


Omar is however criticized by other muslims in Sweden. The leader of Sveriges unga muslimer (Sweden´s Young Muslims) Mohamed Amin Kharraki distances himself from these radical views:

- An alliance with right-extreme groups is not a good alliance. If we truly want to solve the problem with racism, we must say no to racism in its entirety, he says to SR.


Sources: The Local, Stockholm News (English)

No comments: