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Swedish Democrats come up with proposal to ban Islamic symbols

23 January 2024 21:20 (UTC+04:00)
Swedish Democrats come up with proposal to ban Islamic symbols

Chairman of the Justice Committee of the Riksdag, a member of the ultra-right nationalist party Swedish Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna), Richard Yumshof, proposed banning the symbols of Islam, Azernews reports, citing foreign media outlets.

The Sweden Democrats have long and loudly expressed the opinion that Islam poses a threat to Swedish society and the Western world as a whole. In November, the party's leader, Jimmy Okesson, said that mosques where anti-democratic extremism flourishes should be demolished.

"Muslim symbols such as the crescent and minarets should be removed from public view," Okesson said.

His party colleague Richard Humshof expressed similar thoughts in an interview with the Aftonbladet newspaper. Like Okesson, he draws a parallel between Islam and Islamism. To the question if such a symbol as the crescent can become illegal in the same way as the swastika, Yumshof answers in the affirmative.

"Obviously, not least the minarets, the crescent is a symbol that embodies what Islam stands for. For many people, including me, this is something very dangerous, something very bad. Such a restriction is certainly a possible step forward. We need to overcome the stereotype that says that if you criticise religion, you are against religious freedom," says Yumshof in an interview.

The head of the Department for the Support of Religious Communities, Isak Raichel, reacted to the restrictions on the use of symbols of Islam.

"The crescent is a symbol of Islam. This is not a symbol of political Islamism. It is present in the logo of our department, along with the Star of David, the cross, and the Hindu symbol. Together, they represent a multi-faith Sweden," Reichel said.

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