Firebrand politician of Sweden, far-right Jimmie Åkesson has sparked controversy by suggesting the confiscation and demolition of mosques spreading anti-democratic, anti-Swedish, homophobic, and anti-Semitic propaganda.
The leader of the Sweden Democrats made these remarks at the party’s annual congress, leading to condemnation from Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
The prime minister emphasized Sweden’s commitment to freedom of religion and urged Åkesson to reconsider, stating that such comments damage the country’s international image, hinder its NATO bid, and contribute to polarization.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for measures against Islamophobic acts, responding to the burning of Qurans in anti-Swedish protests.
Åkesson, in a column for Aftonbladet, expressed fatigue with references to the NATO process, suggesting the closure of mosques fostering extremism and the expulsion of hateful imams instead of demolition.
Åkesson’s comments this weekend have attracted the attention of the international press, particularly the Turkish media, which has been highly critical of the politician.
In response to the criticism, the far-right politician has written a column in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in which he claims to be “deeply tired” of references to the NATO process and urges Sweden to stop playing Erdogan’s game.
The incident follows earlier anti-Swedish protests linked to Quran burning in several countries.
In 2022, Sweden faced a disinformation campaign alleging the kidnapping of Muslim children by social services, a claim later denied by authorities.