Right-wing politician, Martin Strid, has resigned from the Sweden Democrats Party after saying that Muslims were “not completely human” at a conference.
Strid told the audience at the party’s national conference in Norrköping that there is a “scale of 1 to 100” of Muslims who are human.
He said: “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 continued by saying that “all Muslims are somewhere on that scale” and that members of ISIS “are close to being 100 percent Mohammedan.”
He also said that he wanted to “free Muslims from Islam, the goal is for them to join Sweden Democrats instead.”
Sweden Democrats party secretary, Richard Jomshof, called Strid’s statement “racist” and said he expects him to be excluded immediately, while Julia Kronlid, an MP with the party, called it “damaging”.
Ms Kronlid: “This is very bad, extremely bad. We had the chance to get our policies out [through the conference, ed.] and the only thing the media are writing about is this.”
Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!
Jomshof said that Sweden Democrats were entitled to be critical of ideologies but not to violate the rights of individuals.
He said: “Everyone has fundamental human worth, the same for everyone. If you think that someone has a worse value based on a certain skin colour or the community they are part of, that is racism for me. We will not accept that.”
The secretary added that a case had already been opened into the potential exclusion of Strid over the statement, and added that he would work to that end.
The Borlänge delegate was also asked by Sweden Democrats to leave the conference.
Strid has since apologised for his comments.
“If you are stressed and in a hurry, you can sometimes express yourself wrongly,” said Strid.
He said he was aware that his speech could be interpreted as saying Muslims are not fully human.
Swedish broadcaster TV4 later reported that Strid had asked to leave the party.
MP Aron Emilsson told SVT: “It is a statement we, from the party leadership, take a clear distance from. Categorising people and human values based on what religious beliefs you have is a way we cannot argue.
“It is contrary to our basic view of human dignity.”