CAIRO – Marking a new rise in anti-Muslim sentiments in the Scandinavian country, a far-right Swedish politician has called for banning Islam and deporting Muslims who believe in the religion, The Local newspaper reported Sunday, August 26.
"Ban Islam in Sweden and deport those who persist in believing in the religion", Par Norling, group leader of the Sweden Democrats (SD) in Bollnas, said in an interview with national broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT).
Believing that Islam should be banned in Sweden, Norling has also called for deporting Muslims who still believe in the Islamic faith.
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“Then the solution is deportation,” he told SVT.
His comments follow an earlier attack by another far-right politician; Sven-Erik Karlsson, who called for discriminating against refugees.
Commenting on the harassment of Somali families by Swedish teens in the town Forserum in southern Sweden, Karlsson said all Swedish municipalities ought to have gangs to harass refugees.
The far-right politician later resigned his post after his comments caused widespread outrage.
Anti-Islam tide has been rising in the recent years in Sweden.
Earlier this month, far-right groups held an international meeting in Sweden to condemn what they say “Islamization” of Europe.
Earlier this summer, the neo-nazi Swedish Resistance Movement (Svenska Motståndsrörelsen) organized a march in the central Swedish town of Bollnäs to denounce Islam.
On Saturday they marched again and anti-racist protests were held nearby.
Muslims make up some 200,000 of the country's nine million people, according to semi-official estimates.
But leaders of the Muslim minority put the number at 400,000.
The far-right politician insisted that Islam has no place in Sweden.
“That can exist elsewhere but in Sweden it doesn’t fit in,” Norling told Sweden’s national television SVT.
Though admitting that he disapproves Nazism, he affirmed that he considered it a by-product of immigration.
The far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), which is notorious for anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant campaigns, made their biggest election gains last year, winning 20 seats in the 349-member parliament.
Immediately after their electoral win, 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”, is also seeking 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.
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