Following the Islamist terrorist attack in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson has demanded harsh measures against Islamists expressing extreme views in Sweden.
In a video he published on social media, Åkesson lamented the recent terrorist act, but called for forceful action against Islamism. Åkesson emphasised that his party already a decade ago warned that Islamist was the biggest threat to decmoracy.
För 10 år sen sa vi att islamismen är det största utländska hotet mot vår demokrati. pic.twitter.com/PzTbuo0bl8— Jimmie Åkesson (@jimmieakesson) November 3, 2020
“Unfortunately, the reality shows that we were right. Another Islamist terrorist attack in Europe. Even more people had their lives shattered to pieces. Even more innocent people lost their lives,” Åkesson said.
The perennial Sweden Democrat leader argued that this is not about “a few crazy people”, but well-organised extremists.
“It is a low-intensity war against our democracy, against our freedom of expression. A war against everything we are and everything we stand for in our part of the world”, Åkesson stressed. “This is not the time for grief and forgiveness. It's time to be determined. To show action. If the Islamists cannot accept our democracy, then our democracy must not accept the Islamists either. At that point, we can not back down a single inch.”
Åkesson directed harsh criticism at those who try to approach Islamism understandingly or avoid conflict.
“It's nothing more than pure complicity,” he ventured.
To counter this adverse development, Åkesson demanded a crackdown on terror-supporting organisations and individuals, renewing the Sweden Democrats' demand to withdraw citizenship.
“Individuals, or organisations, such as schools or mosques, that even breathe support for these Islamists, should have their state subsidies restricted, they should be shut down immediately. Those who attack and threaten us must be locked up. And they should be sent back to where they came from. If they do not want to be part of our Swedish democracy and our civilised society, they shouldn't have a Swedish passport either. I think that is a matter of course”, Åkesson concluded.
The attacker was later identified as Kujtim Fejzulai, with roots in the Balkan nation of North Macedonia. In 2019, he was sentenced to 22 months in prison for trying to travel to Syria to join Daesh, but was granted early release under juvenile law.
Earlier in October, France saw several Islamist attacks, including the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty over Prophet Muhammad cartoons he had used to illustrate the concept of free speech, followed by the stabbings in Nice.
Led by Jimmie Åkesson since 2005, the national-conservative Sweden Democrats are the country's biggest opposition party, currently polling as the biggest overall. The Sweden Democrats reject multiculturalism, advocate tougher immigration policies and are against ceding further sovereignty to the EU.
* Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/"Islamic State") is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and elsewhere