The Muslim politician who quit Sweden's Green Party in a storm of controversy last month, after refusing to shake the hand of a woman interviewer, has warned that he has been the victim of an Islamophobic, racist campaign which risks turning Sweden into a divided society.

"There is Islamophobia in Sweden," said Yasri Khan, who had been a senior member of the Green Party, told Dagens Nyheter in his first major interview since stepping down on April 20th. "I am quite sure I would not have been treated like this if I'd been a white man. I wish that Sweden was more tolerant."

Khan said he felt it was "a pity" that so many Swedes, including Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, had interpreted his refusal to shake hands with a women as a sign that he was a misogynist who hated women, when he had instead always fought for women's full inclusion "at all levels" in society.

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