Opposition calls for Sweden Democrat to resign over Mohammed tweet

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Opposition calls for Sweden Democrat to resign over Mohammed tweet
Richard Jomshof, the Sweden Democrat chair of the parliament's foreign policy described the Prophet Mohammed as a 'bandit' in a tweet. Photo: Ali Lorestani/TT

Sweden's opposition has called for the chair of the parliament's justice policy committee to resign after he called the Prophet Mohammed a "warlord, mass-murderer, slave trader and bandit" in a tweet.


Richard Jomshof, whose strong views on Islam made him a controversial choice as committee chair, was responding to a call for "greater dialogue" from Tahir Akan, chair of the Swedish Muslim Association, over how to deal with activists burning the Quran, the holy book of Islam. 

"I agree that we need a 'broader dialogue'," Jomshof tweeted. "A dialogue about how we democratise the Muslim world. Or what not a dialogue about Islam, this antidemocratic, violence-promoting and misogynistic religion/ideology, founded by the warlord, mass-murderer, slave trader and bandit, Mohammed." 

After the tweet was published on Thursday morning, Johansson called for Jomshof to be removed as chair. 

"This is precisely the kind of rhetoric from the side of Sweden Democrats which is making the situation even more serious," he said. "I think this is totally misguided, what Richard Jomshof has now done, and my feeling is that he cannot remain in his post." 

The Social Democrats' leader, Magdalena Andersson, also said that "Richard Jomshof should leave his position as chair of the foreign policy comittee", saying that he had "was going into a direct polemic with the Muslim world". 


The exchange came as the Social Democrats have doubled down on their criticism of the government for its slow reaction to the Quran burning crisis, with Johansson accusing Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of trying to "handle communication via Instagram from his hammock". 

After the Social Democrats this week began to criticise the government for its slow response to the crisis, the country's Civil Defence Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin held a press conference on Wednesday in which he accused Russia of inflaming the crisis through a disinformation campaign. 

Kristersson followed up with a post on Instagram in which he said he had met Charlotte von Essen, the head of Sweden's Säpo security police for an update on the situation. 

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A post shared by Ulf Kristersson (@kristerssonulf)

Sweden's foreign minister Tobias Billström on Thursday briefed the parliament's foreign policy committee on the actions the government was taking to contain the fallout from the Quran-burning protests. 

Johansson said that if the Social Democrats had been in power, he believed the response to the crisis would have been quicker and more decisive. 

"There would have been a full response, with press conferences with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Justice Minister, if not daily then nearly daily. When you have such crises, you need to be present, it's the most important thing," he said.

"Handling communication via Instagram from your hammock isn't good enough when we are in a situation this serious. What's needed is for the prime minister to show leadership and answer all the questions more and more people are asking." 




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