27th January 2021

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A riot broke out in the Swedish city of Malmö

A riot broke out in the Swedish city of Malmö on Friday, where around 300 people had gathered to protest anti-Islamic activities, Reuters reported. Right-wing extremists torched a copy of the Koran, the report said, increasing violence in the town which local police struggled to control.

  • AFP reported that Rasmus Paludan, a far-right Danish politician who heads the anti-immigration Hard Line party, also known as Stram Kurs, was scheduled to speak at the rally where a copy of the Quran was burned. However, Swedish authorities blocked their arrival in Malmö, which led to further violence between warring groups.

What is Stram Kurs?

This far-right Danish political party is relatively new. It was founded in 2017 by Rasmus Paludan and is known for its openly anti-Islamic stance. Much of the party’s program centers on building an anti-Islam discourse and participating in provocative and offensive acts against Islam and Muslims. The party uses social media platforms and public gatherings to advance its agenda.

  • In addition to having radical views on ethnicity, immigration, and citizenship, the Stram Kurs also seek to outlaw Islam and specifically target Muslims in Denmark.
  • It is not known how many members the party has, but he tried to run in the Danish general election in 2019, garnering only a handful of votes.
  • In the summer of 2019, the party had succeeded in obtaining the signatures of 20,000 voters needed to contest the legislative elections.
  • In March 2020, the Stram Kurs were found guilty of abusing the Danish vote declaration system and the temporary suspension imposed on them in December 2019 was extended until September 2022.
  • To circumvent this suspension, the party s ‘is renamed identical to “Hard Line”. Danish government agencies did not consider the creation of this new entity illegal and it was allowed to operate.

Who is Rasmus Paludan?

  • Paludan is a former lawyer and politician known for his anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and racist stance.
  • In April 2019 he was convicted of making racist statements, an order he tried to appeal but was dismissed.
  • In June 2020, he was given a three-month suspended prison sentence in a case involving 14 different charges, of which he was found guilty of all.
  • According to local Danish reports, among the various charges, Paludan was again convicted of racist remarks and included an incident in which he ran over a man using a vehicle.
  • The court banned him from practicing as a lawyer for three years, and he was also banned from using his driver’s license for one year.
  • Paludan once threw a book in a public square in Copenhagen, claiming it was the Quran, and threw it on the ground.
  • On other occasions, Reuters reported that Paludan wrapped a copy of the Quran in bacon and publicly burned the holy book, claiming he was exercising his right to free speech.
  • According to a new Guardian report from 2019, Paludan’s inflammatory videos on YouTube had won over huge numbers of teenagers, a platform that allowed him to build his subscriber base relatively quickly, turning him into a lawyer. dark on an extremist who participated in the Danish general elections.

What led to the rise of the far right in Europe?

For decades, Sweden and Denmark have stood out as one of the region’s few politically stable countries. This has changed in recent years, especially since the migration crisis in Europe which started in 2015.

  • Issues such as immigration, race, integration, crime, religion, social protection and discrimination etc, have been at the forefront of political debates in this country.
  • During a political rally in 2017, US President Donald Trump said; “You see what happened last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe it? Sweden! They took a lot of it. They have problems they never thought possible.”
  • Trump was referring to the riots that broke out in an immigrant suburb of Stockholm that occurred after police attempted to arrest a suspect for drug trafficking.
  • In the past, the country has experienced outbreaks of unrest linked to unemployment and the problems of integrating immigrants.
  • In 2015, when Sweden began to witness an increase in immigration, the country also faced protests and slights against and in favor of immigration.
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