Swedish authorities must be handed the power to requisition and demolish mosques that are proven to be used to promote messages incompatible with Western values and the country should impose a ban on the construction of new mosques, the leader of the right-wing Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson has claimed.
Speaking at a party event in the southeastern Swedish city of Vasteras on Saturday, Åkesson said that Islamic places of worship in Sweden are a breeding ground for radicalized thought and the anti-West propaganda that is infiltrating the country’s social fabric and sowing discord in Swedish communities.
“It is not a right to come to our country and build monuments to a foreign and imperialist ideology,” Åkesson told his party’s faithful.
“In the long term, we need to start confiscating and demolishing mosque buildings where anti-democratic, anti-Swedish, homophobic, or anti-Semitic propaganda or general misinformation about Swedish society is spread.
“Minarets, domes, crescents, or other attributes that serve as Islamic monuments in the cityscape should be completely removed,” he added.
Speaking to the Aftonbladet newspaper following his speech, Åkesson elaborated on his view, insisting that people should have the right to “have a gathering place if you worship a god or have a religion,” but explained that “the problem is when you force your religion on others” by “building monuments and having prayer calls. We do not think that is reasonable.”
The Sweden Democrats hold considerable influence in the country’s political landscape, propping up the center-right government of Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson.
The remarks will be yet another stumbling block for Sweden’s NATO accession with Islamic nations likely to condemn the latest inflammatory remarks.
Stockholm is reliant on Turkey signing off on its accession to the defense alliance, ratification that has been continuously delayed due to Ankara’s dissatisfaction with Sweden over its permittance of Quran-burning protests and its harboring of Kurdish activists Turkey believes are terrorists.