Qaisar Mahmood, a Muslim born in Pakistan who admits he has no background in “cultural heritage,” was recently selected to lead Sweden’s National Heritage Board, Samhällsnytt reports.Qaisar Mahmood, a Muslim born in Pakistan, is the new head of the Swedish National Heritage Board. This is an extremely anomalous appointment, since he readily admits that he has not read anything about Sweden’s cultural heritage. But his new job is not really about preserving and protecting Sweden’s cultural heritage and historical sites at all.
Mahmood joined the National Heritage Board in 2011 as a “unitary director in charge of cultural heritage issues,” but will now lead the entire department.
The National Heritage Board is tasked with preserving the cultural heritage of Sweden. Common examples of Sweden’s heritage includes cultural items such as “runestones, medieval churches, folk costumes and hometown farms.”
Typically, experts in archeology hold the position, but Mahmood admits he has no expertise in the area.
“I have studied political science and economics. I have a socioeconomic degree. I have not read any points of archeology at university or anything about cultural heritage,” Mahmood said in an interview.
But Mahmood did contribute to the National Heritage Board prior to his hiring, aiding the board with a report on “diversity.”
According to Samhällsnytt, Mahmood’s original 2011 application to join the National Heritage Board highlights his “[contributions] to the report of the Multicultural Research Report and a chapter in the National Heritage Board’s forthcoming report on diversity, culture and identity.”
Before joinging the National Heritage Board, Mahmood was previously a career bureacrat, working at a variety of government agencies.