Aftonbladet, one of Sweden's most popular newspapers, has sparked outrage with an opinion piece by Peter Kadhammar, who defended the residents of Northern Sentinel Island who had greeted US missionary John Allen Chau with a torrent of arrows. Chau's last words reportedly were "Jesus loves you."
"Tragic, but they acted completely rationally", Peter Kadhammar wrote. "Let in the white man, and your world is soon wiped out", he added.
According to Kadhammar, the Sentinelese did exactly as residents of Australia, America, Africa and much of Asia should have done as soon as white newcomers rowed ashore. Subsequently, the journalist went on to describe the white legacy as "rifles, cannons, lies, senseless cruelty, ruthlessness, bribery, broken treaties, expulsions and imported diseases".
"Our entire civilization is based on genocide. Only when the genocide policy reached our own continent did it become a criminal offence. It was at the Nuremberg tribunal after the Second World War", Kadhammar wrote.
The Swedish journalist cited the example of the Inca people, who went from 12 million people to only two million following the Spanish invasion in 1532, the Aztecs, who went from 20 to two million, and the Taino people of the Caribbean who died out 68 years after Columbus's landing.
Kadhammar's article triggered polarising reactions among Swedes. "What's wrong with all these journalists hating white people?" some wondered, while others joined him in condemning 'white imperialism' and agreed that the tribe 'did the right thing'.
"Interesting reasoning. Aftonbladet, do you also apply the same logic to to the Muslims' annexation of Sweden too? Otherwise, there article is baseless, it should be deleted and the writer dismissed", user Curlingpappan tweeted.
"Now compare Kadhammar's message with the following one: Let in men from Middle East and North Africa, and your world is soon wiped out", another added.
"Right, so different peoples have different rights. Some may protect themselves, while other countries are basically doormats," yet another user tweeted at the perceived double standards by Aftonbladet, which has been describing mass immigration to Sweden in a complimentary way.
Others called Kadhammar a 'self-hater' and pointed out that Chau was actually Asian. The late missionary had written on his Instagram page that his father came to the US as a refugee from the Cultural Revolution in communist China.
Kadhammar is a laureate of the Swedish Grand Prize for Journalism and other awards. Aftonbladet is one of Sweden's leading daily newspapers; it describes itself as 'independently Social Democrat'.