Islamism in Sweden's Social Democratic party?
A scandal has rocked the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League following reports that Muslim members in the Skåne region who represented anti-Semitic and homophobic positions were tolerated for years. The League's collaboration with Muslim organisations is also causing a stir. Despite resignations the problem is far from resolved as far as Sweden's press is concerned.
Obligingly turning a blind eye
The Social Democratic Party as a whole is facing major challenges, Göteborgs-Posten points out:
“Four years ago Expressen revealed that as early as 1999 there was a written agreement between the 'Religious Social Democrats of Sweden' (STS) and the Muslim Council of Sweden (SMR). The document makes it clear that the STS, as an official part of the Social Democratic Party, is to help the SMR gain political influence in Sweden. ... [For three years] Ulf Bjereld, a professor of constitutional law, has been president of the STS. His persistent silence in view of this scandal speaks volumes. Unfortunately it's clear that all too many Social Democrats turn a blind eye to views that are incompatible with the party's ideology - as long as it means securing additional votes. The Social Democrats must uphold democracy and cut their ties to political Islam.”
Religion must remain a private matter
The row in the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League is more about an internal struggle than Islamism, Aftonbladet believes:
“The conflict was triggered by the recruitment of new members, many of them from Rosengård [a district in Malmö where many migrants live], which has changed the balance of power in the association. ... To put it in simple terms, the new members come from the new working class and their experiences and priorities are different to those the SSU has long considered to be uppermost. ... At the same time the conflict raises the question of how social democracy should deal with religious organisations. Naturally you can be an active social democrat and a believer. But you can't be opposed to fundamental social democratic values for religious reasons. The first party programme penned in 1889 already stressed that religion was a private matter.”