‘Mustafa failed to heed warning last year’

'Mustafa failed to heed warning last year'
Social Democrats in Stockholm say they did not follow up after telling Omar Mustafa a year ago to purge intolerant speakers from Islamic Association (Islamiska föreningen) meetings, before nominating him to the opposition party's governing board.

“We were certain that he had understood how serious the situation was last time and that he wouldn’t repeat this mistake,” said the party’s Stockholm district (arbetarekommun) secretary Olle Burell to the TT new agency.

Burell admitted that he and his colleagues had not made sure a year later that Mustafa had followed through and purged the list of invited speakers of speakers known for intolerant views.

“It’s one of the points that we’ve criticized ourselves about, we should have (checked up),” said Burell.

Mustafa landed at the centre of the Social Democrats’ latest controversy just days after being elected to the party’s governing board when reports emerged that the Islamic Association invited people with known anti-Semitic views to speak in Sweden.

On Saturday, party leader Stefan Löfven issued an ultimatum. Mustafa resigned from the party later the same day, less than a week after his election to the governing board, saying he was “forced out”.

Burell, who took questions from the media instead of Stockholm district chair Veronica Palm who is also an MP, said the fault lay with the party’s municipal district and not the party at large.

He added that Mustafa, once conversations were ongoing, did not make it clear enough he would refrain from inviting guests with intolerant views to speak at the Islamic Association.

“He would have needed to promise clearly never to use this method again as it had thrown up so many questions,” Burell said.

“It became unsustainable when he wasn’t clear enough.”

Despite the fracas, Burell thought Palm would be reelected as chair of the Stockholm municipal district when it holds its annual meeting at the end of April. He added that it was perfectly normal for the district secretary to field questions in her stead.

Nevertheless, at least one Social Democrat MP has called for Palm to step down.

TT/The Local/at

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