A Swedish Muslim “integration expert” and school principal has admitted to making antisemitic and homophobic comments online for years under a pseudonym.
Over a period between 2011 and 2016, Hamid Zafar is said to have made numerous offensive posts on different websites and social media platforms and has claimed that they were made in reaction to the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, where he was born, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
“In retrospect, I look back on it as a very destructive period. But that’s what it looks like on social media, there’s a lot of opinions and I was part of it,” Zafar told Swedish broadcaster SVT after newspaper Dagens Nyheter revealed his comments.
Zafar, who worked as an integration expert for the centre-right Moderate Party, added, “Since I have re-evaluated my opinions, I have thought that it would come to light, that it was only a matter of time.”
According to Dagens Nyheter, Zafar made several comments including one on a book about the Holocaust for Swedish students saying, “The purpose of the book is to create a kind of collective mass psychosis in which students are fed with how terrible the Holocaust was.”
Sweden: Imam Who Labelled Jews ‘Monkeys and Pigs’ Sentenced https://t.co/bV5RI7IwXG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 3, 2019
He also spoke against the highly liberal and pro-LGBT Chruch of Sweden saying to another person on Twitter, “What does your master say about blessing sodomites in His Church?”
Following the revelations, Zafar has been forced to step down from his role as an integration expert. Moderate Party Secretary Gunnar Strömmer commented on the situation saying Zafar’s prior statements did not reflect the values of the party.
“The information is brand new to us, we took note of it for the first time in the media today. The views are incompatible with the Moderates’ values,” he said.
According to statistics released last year by the Swedish Crime Prevention Council (Brå), antisemitic attacks are on the rise in Sweden. The agency stated that attacks had gone up 52 per cent from 2016 to 2018.
The multicultural city of Malmo, in particular, has been criticised for its high levels of antisemitism with several young members of the Jewish community speaking out about the issue last year.
“Uncertainty means that you cannot go to school with a visible Star of David because then there is a high risk of being threatened, or that someone follows you from the school or even being beaten,” one local teen said.