Wednesday, 4 November 2009

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

"We will found a party, probably very soon. It will not be an islamic party but an anti-Zionist party. We are only against these [Zionists'] views. For example that they have a state which is rascist against Arabs and that they persecute Arabs etc.." (Mohamed Omar)

According to Gene at Harry's Place, "Swedish public radio reported on Omar’s "anti-Zionist" movement, reminiscent of the French "comedian" Dieudonné’s unsuccessful campaign for European Parliament."
Sources: Islam in Europe and The Local

Swedish radio has a segment in English on the topic.

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."

Read more on this HERE

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