STOCKHOLM — One refused to shake hands with a female journalist. Another compared Israel to Nazi Germany. A third was seen doing hand signs associated with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in the background of a live TV broadcast.
The behavior of some Muslim members of Sweden’s Green Party, which is part of a coalition government since 2014, has sparked concerns that the small environmentalist group may have been infiltrated by Islamists.
It also has triggered a wider discussion about whether Sweden has tried so hard to be inclusive and tolerant toward migrants that it’s failed to stand up for its own feminist ideals.
“In our eagerness to embrace a diverse and multicultural society, we have turned a blind eye to undemocratic views,” said Gulan Avci, a Stockholm city councilwoman for the Liberals, a center-right opposition party.
“People who are close to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is an Islamist party, obviously have a big foothold in the Green Party,” Lars Nicander, a security expert at the Swedish Defense University, told Sweden’s TV4. He compared it to how Soviet agents tried to infiltrate political parties in the West during the Cold War.
... the most outspoken critics also include non-practicing or moderate Muslims who want to keep religion out of politics in Sweden, one of the world’s most secular countries.
Avci, the Liberals lawmaker who has Kurdish roots, said Swedes should insist that migrants accept the country’s core values, such as gender equality. By not doing so, she said, they are letting down refugees who have fled religious oppression in their homelands, “above all girls and women who have been forced to live unfree in an honor culture.”