The Social Democrats, Sweden's largest party, whose motto once was "Everyone belongs here," have announced a package of measures to stop the Islamization of its youth organization in Skåne County, which it claims has gone too far. Removing sponsorship has been is considered, Swedish Radio reported.
For several years, the Social Democrat Youth Skåne (SSU Skåne) has been ruled by a group of people spreading Islamic fundamentalist beliefs that contradict both the party's own platform and Swedish values, the daily newspaper Expressen reported.
According to Expressen, several senior members of SSU Skåne and up and coming Social Democrat politicians are members of the fundamentalist Ahmadiyya movement, which has been associated with intolerance and homophobia.
Former SSU Skåne president and number 11 in the Social Democrats' parliament list Rizwan Elahi is known to have called Islam a "universal solution against human suffering, diseases and problems existing today" and dismissed atheism as an "amoral idea."
Vice-President Khloe Abdel Wahab admittedly worked for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, which is unacceptable in many ways, since Egypt by Swedish standards is governed by a military dictatorship.
Omar Al-Ganas, the chairman of the SSU club in Hässleholm, was recently compelled to renounce his post due to anti-Semitic and misogynist statements he'd made in social media.
The Islamist influence culminated in a symbolic replacement of the traditional Internationale song with an Islamic song.
According to Carolina Pettersson, former district secretary of SSU Skåne, the "fundamentalist phalanx" has roots in Rosengård, Malmö's immigrant-heavy district. According to her, they came to power using aggressive methods and intimidation. Petterson blamed the rise of groups that don't share the party's ideology on a weakened labor movement with a higher tolerance for clans and ideological digressions.
Despite internal criticism stemming from the SSU, the mother party failed to address the problem until it made national headlines. Following the revelations, the SSU has announced a package of measures to stop Islamization. Two people will be excluded from the organization, and remaining members will sign a written contract signaling their dedication to SSU's original values. At the same time, SSU Skåne will be given three weeks to come up with an action plan of its own or risk losing all its funding.
The news triggered strong reactions among the Swedish public. Among others, columnist Jan Sjunnesson posted a photoshopped logo of the Social Democrats reading "Islamic Democrats, the medieval party," whereas Moderate politician Hanif Bali sarcastically spelled out SSU as "Sweden's Salafist Youth." The news outlet Fria Tider wrote of an Islamic "coup" at SSU.
The Social Democrats are one of Sweden's largest parties, which has produced notable prime ministers such as Per Albin Hansson, Tage Erlander, Olof Palme and Göran Persson. While traditionally rooted in the working class, in recent decades it has embraced multiculturalism and garnered extensive support from Sweden's rising immigrant and Muslim population.