CAIRO – A question about political views of a far-right party on Islam has left a Swedish teenager shocked, The Local newspaper reported.
"I was shocked," Johan, 15, told the Svenska Dagbladet daily, the Local newspaper reported.The student was tasked with writing a project about Islam and was told to gather information and attitudes to the Islamic faith.
Seeking political views, he mailed the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) asking for the party’s opinion.
The student said he intended for "general questions about the Sweden Democrats or the party's national policy."
To his shock, he received an e-mail from Ted Ekeroth, a Lund county councilor, that included a link showing shocking photos of mutilated, decapitated and burned corpses.
“I can't describe the feeling, the photos were so horrible,” John said.
The far-right councilor justified his mail that the link shows victims of terrorism in southern Thailand.
“I had no idea how I was supposed to respond to his mail,” the student said.
Ekeroth claimed the he had warned the student about the shocking images, adding that he had no idea whether the photos were genuine.
The Sweden Democrats 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.
The far-right party distanced themselves from the photos, blaming the councilor for sending “unsuitable” material.
SD spokesperson Martin Kinnunen described the material on the website as "unsuitable" and said that it was a mistake for Ekeroth to have sent it.
The spokesman denied that the incident constitutes a breach of party leader Jimmie Akesson's call for a zero tolerance policy on racism, but said that Ekeroth would no longer be tasked with answering the party's correspondence.
The photos are not the first episode of the far-right party campaign against Muslims.
Earlier this week, the Sweden Democrats revealed plans to distribute an anti-Islam newspaper among its 6,000 members this month.
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 this month 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.
Related Links:Immigration Fears Feed Sweden Rightists
Sweden Far-rightists Make Election Gains
Anti-Islam Far-Right Unites in Stockholm
Sweden Fights Islamophobia
Swedish U-turn on `Eid Al-Fitr