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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Swedish politician who said Muslims were ‘not completely human’ resigns

Martin Strid made the offending comments during the Sweden Democrats national party conference

Martin Strid has resigned after his speech at the Sweden Democrats national party conference. Screenshot/ SVT
Martin Strid has resigned after his speech at the Sweden Democrats national party conference. Screenshot/ SVT

A Swedish politician has been forced to resign after he said that Muslims were not completely human during a live TV debate at a party national conference.

Martin Strid, a member of the right-wing Sweden Democrats party, made the comments while ranking Islamists on a scale of “0 to 100” at his party’s conference in Norrköping in the south-east of the country.

"On one end you are 100 per cent human, a person, everything that’s part of that concept. At the other end, you are 100 per cent Mohammedan," he said, according to Swedish newspaper The Local.

"If you are an ex-Muslim you have come quite far towards being fully human,” he added.

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Mr Strid, a local politician from Borlänge in central Sweden, said ISIL members were "close to being 100 per cent Mohammedan", however, he said that all Muslims were “somewhere on that scale".

The politician has been criticised by members of his own party, who immediately denounced what he said as “racist”.

Party secretary Richard Jomshop 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.”

"Qualified criticism is allowed, but not racism. It’s as simple as that,” he added.

While Party leader Jimmie Åkesson said he had not heard of Mr Strid before his speech.

"In this case it is very clear that if it isn't racism it is very close to racism," Mr Åkesson told Swedish national broadcaster SVT.

Mr Strid has since apologised for his speech explaining that he had expressed himself in the wrong way, adding that he had friends who were Muslim.

"If you are stressed and in a hurry, you can sometimes express yourself wrongly," said Strid.

Sweden is due to hold a general election in September 18 and the Sweden Democrats’ national conference is set to form the basis of the upcoming election campaign.

The Sweden Democrats are currently the third largest party in the Riksdag and have soared in opinion polls following the backlash against the European migrant crisis.

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