Afghan-born ‘Swede of the year’ loses education & integration adviser jobs over newly discovered anti-Semitic, homophobic posts
An Afghan refugee-turned-famous Swedish expert on education and integration, Hamid Zafar, has had his perfect public image ruined after a local newspaper discovered hateful comments he had been posting online under a pseudonym.
Zafar arrived in Sweden as a refugee child and rose to prominence as a symbol of successful integration. Brought up in what is being described as a “socially vulnerable” district of Gothenburg, the man took charge of a troubled local school and became known throughout Sweden simply as ‘Rector Hamid’.
His career has been on the rise ever since: between working at the Swedish Schools Inspectorate and giving lectures at Karlstad University, the man frequently appeared on Swedish media as a pundit. He was also an independent expert with the integration commission of the center-right Moderate Party.
Eventually, he received a prestigious ‘Swede of the Year’ award by the Swedish Focus magazine in 2018, and became the head of the Children and Education Department in the southern municipality of Mullsjo.
This week, however, journalists from the Dagens Nyheter (DN) suddenly uncovered the well-respected education expert’s ‘dark side,’ reporting that between 2011 and 2016 Zafar had anonymously been posting hateful comments online.
Zafar denounced his opponents as “Zionist dogs” in social media arguments, and criticized the distribution of a book about Holocaust in Swedish schools, arguing it would create “mass psychosis” and stuff students’ heads with an idea of “how terrible Holocaust was.”
In other comments and posts that have since been deleted, Zafar scolded the Swedish Lutheran Church for allowing homosexual marriages, and mocked Hazaras – an Afghan ethnic minority considered one of the most oppressed groups in Afghanistan.
The scandal prompted the Mullsjo authorities to immediately fire Zafar from his position as the Children and Education Department head. The municipality rushed to “distance itself from Hamid Zafar’s … views and statements” while calling the whole situation a “crisis of confidence.”
We have come to a conclusion that our confidence in Hamid Zafar has been so much damaged that it is now impossible for him to continue his work.
Zafar himself did not dispute DN’s findings and admitted he indeed wrote all those posts. He called them youthful indiscretions, even though he was between 28 and 33 years old at the time, and said the statements were made during a “destructive” period of his life.
Zafar claimed that he had “distanced himself from such opinions since then and left them behind.” He did not apologize, though, saying instead that those, who are without sin “are welcome to throw the first stone.”
Meanwhile, various organizations he cooperated with continue to cut ties with disgraced expert and terminate his contracts. His scheduled TV appearances have been cancelled and he lost his position as a columnist in the Swedish Goeteborgs Posten newspaper. The Moderate Party also advised him to “resign” from its i
Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack
At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.
Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.
Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.
No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.
The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.
Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.
The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.
About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.
An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.
news agency that two teachers were injured.
Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.
Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.
“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.
The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table.
The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.
Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”
Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.
“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.
Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”
Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.
Think your f
At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official
At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.
The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi
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