Migration agency used anti-Muslim lawyer
TT/David Landes · 24 Jun 2009, 09:38
Published: 24 Jun 2009 09:38 GMT+02:00
Hans-Ola Mårtensson is a lawyer based in southwest Sweden whose services were sought by the Migration Board on seven different occasions, most recently in January 2009, the Sydsvenskan newspaper reports.
His job was to represent the interests of asylum seekers during the judicial review of their applications for refugee status.
In his free time, however, Mårtensson publishes a blog featuring a number of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim postings.
“Muslims are multiplying like rabbits and want to take over Europe,” he wrote in one post.
“Tear down Rosengård, Hammarkullen and Tensta and send those living there to Norrland and Lappland [in Sweden’s far north]. There they can be integrated, learn Swedish, be de-Islamified, and be happy,” reads another post, referring to areas in Malmö and Stockholm with high concentrations of immigrants.
Mårtensson also takes aim at homosexuals, feminists, Social Democrats, and host of other targets, including recent Nobel Prize winning author Doris Lessing, who he calls a “communist witch”.
He adds, however, that giving the prize to Lessing was “still better than earlier choices of Arabs and Negroes.”
A Migration Board representative charged with reviewing the suitability of lawyers asked to serve as legal representatives in asylum cases had a hard time believing migration authorities would hire someone with Mårtensson’s views.
“I can’t believe that this is a person we’d want to use. It doesn’t sound like he’s appropriate,” the Migration Board’s Stefan Råhlander told Sydsvenskan.
“Racist views can definitely be seen as a reason to be found inappropriate.”
The local chapter of the Moderate political party was concerned enough about the views espoused on Mårtensson’s blog to force him to quit the party two years ago.
“There were plenty of values and statements of opinion which aren’t compatible with the Moderates’ basic views,” Moderate local council chair Thomas Håkansson told the newspaper.
Mårtensson defended his blog as a personal pursuit that didn’t affect his professional work.
“I differentiate between by job responsibilities and my private opinions,” he told Sydsvenskan.
“I have many friends who are Muslims.”
Nevertheless, Mårtensson didn’t hide his negative sentiments toward Islam.
“I’m hostile toward Islam, not those who practice it as a religion,” he said.
Following the publishing of select contents from the blog in Sydsvenskan on Wednesday, Mårtensson promptly took the blog offline.
Attempts by the newspaper to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.