06:35 GMT30 November 2020
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    Alternative for Sweden leader Gustav Kasselstrand welcomed Hard Line leader Rasmus Paludan's "sincere desire to assist the Swedish people with the fight against Muslim immigration" and described him as an "important asset".

    Danish Politician Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the anti-Islam party Hard Line, has joined the Swedish party Alternative for Sweden (AfS) after recently confirming his Swedish citizenship.

    By Paludan's own acknowledgement, the idea is to "wake up the Swedish people" and to help the AfS enter parliament in the 2022 election.

    ​Paludan described AfS as the only party in Sweden that has "consistently backed the strict return policy that is needed". AfS has advocated for an immediate stop to asylum immigration, immigration of relatives, and quotas for refugees and massive repatriation. According to Paludan, this "must be done" if the Swedish people are to survive.

    Recalling a previous entry ban in connection with a planned Quran burning in Malmö, which are a staple of the party's repertoire, Paludan ventured that the Swedish government is "afraid" of him.

    "They fear that I may show that the government has allowed hundreds of thousands of violent criminals to enter the country", Paludan said in a statement.

    AfS leader Gustav Kasselstrand said that the party was "very happy" with its the new member, welcoming Paludan's "sincere desire to assist the Swedish people with the fight against Muslim immigration" and describing him as an "important asset".

    In the words of Kasselstrand, Paludan "at the risk of his life clarified one of the greatest conflicts of our time, one between Europe and Islam".

    ​The ethno-nationalist and anti-Islam party Hard Line barely missed the parliamentary threshold in Denmark in 2019. The Alternative for Sweden was formed in 2017 by maverick Sweden Democrats who thought that their national-conservative mother party had mellowed out on many issues. It advocates for the repatriation of immigrants, non-interventionism, Swedish withdrawal from the European Union, a flat tax system, and opposition to NATO. It is currently the second-largest Swedish party without parliamenary representation.

    Rasmus Paludan gained fame and notoriety in Denmark through demonstrations against Islam in areas featured on the country's official ghetto list, which are later released as videos. The demonstrations are considered provocative as they commonly feature torching or tearing up of the Quran, yet celebrated as an exercise in free speech by the party itself. Numerous threats and assassination attempts have since placed Paludan under all-round police protection.

    Earlier this year, Paludan made international headlines after a group of activists linked to Hard Line posted a video of themselves burning a copy of the Quran in Malmö, followed by similar acts in other Swedish cities. This unleashed violent Islamic riots and dozens of arrests.

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    Tags:
    Alternative for Sweden, Stram Kurs, Rasmus Paludan, Scandinavia, Sweden, Denmark
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