CAIRO – Seeking to tighten the noose around the Muslim minority, a far-right Swedish party is equipping itself with new tools to accelerate their campaigns against Swedish Muslims, including a newspaper and installing a spokesman known for anti-Islam slurs.
“We’re presenting a new team today after what happened last week,” Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson told a press conference cited by The Local newspaper on Thursday, November 22.
Last week, a video was released of three party members in a drunken and racist tirade from 2010.
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Akesson presented a new spokesman, Richard Jomshof, the former editor-in-chief of the party newspaper SD–Kuriren.
Jomshof is known for his anti-Islam slurs.
He once likened Islamism to Nazism, a view he showed no signs of abandoning on Thursday.
“I’ve also compared Islamism with National Socialism and Communism. I stand by that. I think it’s a completely reasonable comparison,” he told TT.
He also described Islam as an ideology not a religion.
“Islam is an ideology. That doesn't mean there is only one direction within Islam or that all Muslims think the same. There are different directions in all ideologies,” he said.
The SD is notorious for anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant campaigns.
Immediately after their electoral win in 2010, the SD started working on imposing a moratorium on building new mosques in the Scandinavian country.
The party, whose manifesto describes Muslims as “seriously jeopardizing the Swedish nation”, has also sought a ban on face-veil and halting immigration from predominantly Muslim countries.
It opposes a panel recommendation that all major religions should be given equal time in lesson plans, saying Christianity should maintain a special status.
As part of its campaign against Muslims, the far-right party is also planning to distribute an anti-Islam newspaper among its 6,000 members this month.
“The newspaper can hardly be seen as racist,” Jomshof told local paper Sydsvenskan.
“Not all Muslims are of the same race.”
The newspaper is published by a Swedish anti-Islam group named “Freedom of the Press Society”.
“Dispatch International is a paper that plays an important role in the societal debate,” Jomshof said.
In a recent edition, the newspaper ran an article in which a professor has described the Adhan (Muslim call for prayer) as a threat.
“There are many connections between us and the Freedom of the Press Society, both personal and ideological,” Jomshof said.
“The paper will be sent as a supplement to our paper, so it won’t cost a lot extra.”
Opinion polls have shown that the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) is growing in popularity in the Scandinavian country.
A survey by United Minds pollsters in Aftonbladet newspaper published on Monday showed that SD has about 11 percent support, double its showing in the 2010 election. Other polls in the last few weeks showed a similar trend.
An October poll by Ipsos, published in Dagens Nyheter newspaper showed the SD at 8.5 percent.
Muslims make up some 200,000 of the country's 9.5 million population, according to semi-official estimates.But leaders of the Muslim minority put the number at 400,000.
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