Sweden axes funding to young nationalist and Muslim groups

TT/The Local
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Sweden axes funding to young nationalist and Muslim groups
No more money. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society has rejected applications for state funding from two organizations whose activities it says are not compatible with democracy.


Sweden Democratic Youth (Sverigedemokratisk ungdom, SDU), the former youth wing of the Sweden Democrat party, and Young Muslims of Sweden, have both been awarded funding in previous years, but will lose out on cash grants in 2017, reports Aftonbladet.

“We make the assessment that SDU has statements in its political manifestos and Young Muslims of Sweden has elements in its operations which mean that these organizations do not live up to the standard we want an organization to have to get government funding,” Lotta Persson, of the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF) which hands out the grants, told the TT newswire.

The agency distributes financial support on behalf of the Swedish government to projects including anti-extremism, anti-racism and activities that promote democracy, equality and youth influence.

In 2016 Young Muslims of Sweden was given 1.36 million kronor ($145,000) plus another half million for a project against racism. In a statement published on Facebook on Monday its chairman wrote that they planned to appeal the decision, arguing that it was “arbitrary”.

Sweden Democratic Youth was given 1.4 million kronor last year and also said it intended to appeal the government agency's decision not to keep funding them. The group was expelled from its mother party in 2015 after a row over far-right extremism, and was replaced by a new youth wing. It has continued to operate as an independent organization. 

MUCF states that Young Muslims of Sweden has been talked about on several occasions as an environment where there are individuals who do not respect equality and anti-discrimination rules and has connections to the Muslim Brotherhood organization.

Young Left, the youth wing of Sweden's Left Party, which was granted 1.5 million kronor last year, also had its application for funding in 2017 rejected because of poor financial management.


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