'Islam is like Nazism': top Sweden Democrat
Published: 22 Nov 2012 12:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Nov 2012 12:49 GMT+01:00
The Sweden Democrats' new justice policy spokesman, unveiled on Thursday as part of a reshuffle in the wake of a racist video scandal, has already made headlines for his comparison of Islamism to Nazism.
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“We’re presenting a new team today after what happened last week,” Jimmie Åkesson said at a press conference, referring to the scandal after the publication of a video showing three party members in a drunken and racist tirade from 2010.
Åkesson presented Richard Jomshof, a former high school teacher who was previously the editor in chief for the Sweden Democrat paper SD–Kuriren, as the replacement for former justice policy spokesman Kent Ekeroth who stepped down on Wednesday.
Jomshof has previously likened Islamism to Nazism in the publication, a view he showed no signs of abandoning on Thursday.
“I’ve also compared Islamism with National Socialism and Communism. I stand by that. I think it’s a completely reasonable comparison,” he told TT.
Jomshof was then asked whether he equates Islamism to the religion Islam.
“Islam is an ideology. That doesn't mean there is only one direction within Islam or that all Muslims think the same. There are different directions in all ideologies.”
Party leader Åkesson did not dismiss his colleague's statements.
“It depends on how you make the comparison. Now we’re seeing an example in Gaza and other conflicts where extreme Islamists are involved, sometimes using the same symbols that the Nazis used," he said.
"Such a comparison can in certain cases be relevant.”
Meanwhile, the party also announced a replacement for Erik Almqvist, who stepped down last week as the party's economic policy spokesman. Taking his place is 44-year-old Sven-Olof Sällström.
The publication of the now-infamous video sent the party into a tailspin.
Its youth wing leader Gustav Kasselström was discharged from his duties as parliamentary secretary on Wednesday after he defended his disgraced colleagues.
Apart from the damage to their political careers, the three politicians implicated by the video may not be out the woods yet.
On Tuesday, Chief Prosecutor Mats Åhlund launched a formal investigation into whether they are guilty of racial agitation (hets mot folkgrupp), a crime punishable by up to two years in prison.