07:04 GMT +320 October 2019
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    'Not Completely Human' - Sweden Democrat Regrets Diatribe About Muslims

    © AFP 2019 / SHAH MARAI
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    A Sweden Democrat politician is facing expulsion from his party after suggesting that Muslims and humans were worlds apart during a party conference held to counter waning voter support.

    Martin Strid, a local Sweden Democrats (SD) politician, has been reported for hate speech and is facing exclusion from his party after suggesting that followers of Islam were "not fully human."

    Strid suggested there was a scale ranging from 1 to 100 from "totally human" to "totally Muslim."

    "On one end of the scale you are 100 percent human, a person, everything that's part of that concept. At the other end, you are 100 percent Mohammedan," Strid said, as quoted by the Sydsvenskan daily. He continued by saying that "all Muslims are somewhere on that scale" and that members of Daesh were "close to being 100 percent Mohammedan."

    Furthermore, he ventured that Muslim apostates came "quite far towards being fully human."

    Strid also said he wanted to Muslims to "free themselves from Islam" and join the SD instead.

    Strid's diatribe led to the politician being reported to police for hate speech, in addition to repercussions from his own party. SD party secretary Richard Jomshof called Strid's statement "racist," venturing that Strid was expected to be excluded immediately.

    "Everyone has fundamental value as a human being, the same for everyone. If you think that someone has a worse value based on a certain skin color or the community they are part of, that is racism for me," Jomshof said, venturing that the SD will neither accept or tolerate it.

    SD MP Julia Kronlid concurred, calling Strid's tirade "damaging" for the party's reputation, admitting that it in no way represented the party's views.

    "This is very bad, extremely bad. We had the chance to get our policies through [to the public], yet the only thing the media are writing about is this," Kronlid said.

    After being asked to leave the conference, Strid apologized for his comments.

    "It all came out very unfortunate and I expressed myself very clumsily," Strid said, voicing regret. "If you are stressed and in a hurry, you can sometimes express yourself wrongly," said Strid. In his defense, Strid said he had many Muslims friends and that he wanted to remain an SD member, even if the decision was not his.

    The SD's national conference is being held in Norrköping. Over 256 delegates are attending to lay the foundation of the party's general election campaign next year.

    In a bid to stop the declining support expressed in the recent polls, the SD released a dramatic party ad portraying faulty immigration policies for Sweden's current problems. The SD had ascended to become Sweden's second-largest party despite being treated as a pariah in the mainstream media, only to drop back to third place in recent polls.

    "It is you, the Social Democrats, you the Conservatives and you the Swedish media who continue to create problems for our country," SD leader Jimmie Åkesson said in the ad that hints at the consequences of immigration by featuring burning cars and policemen being attacked.

    The film triggered strong reactions in the social media.

    "The SD sets the standard high with its new commercial. Tough rhetoric!" a twitter user wrote.

    This is not the first time the SD has launched ads with a controversial punch line. Prior to the 2010 election, a SD ad featuring retirees confronted by people wearing full Islamic veils in a struggle for state support triggered strong criticism, with Swedish TV-channel TV4 opting to show a censored version of the film.

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    Islam, Sweden Democrats party, Jimmie Åkesson, Scandinavia, Sweden
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