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Sweden: Pro-Islamic Party Leader Defends Islamic State Terrorists by Robert Semonsen

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Sweden: Pro-Islamic Party Leader Defends Islamic State Terrorists

The Turkish-born leader of Sweden’s new pro-Islamic party has expressed support for radical Muslims who, after making the pilgrimage to Syria to live under the Islamic State caliphate, have now returned to Sweden, the country which issued their passport.

While speaking with TV4, the leader of the newly formed pro-Islamic party Mikail Yüksel—a former Center Party politician who was expelled for having links with the pan-Turkic Islamist extremist Gray Wolves—defended IS returnees on the grounds of ‘human rights,’ saying that authorities suspect them of terrorism without sufficient evidence, Swedish newspaper Nyheter Idag reports.

“I have always defended human rights,” Yüksel said, referring to those who’ve returned to Sweden from the former territories of the Islamic State. “These people do not know what their crime is. Nobody knows, only Säpo knows.”

Yüksel, who weeks ago bragged that his pro-Islamic party would soon take over Skåne County in Sweden’s upcoming national elections, also brought up the Vetenskapsskolan, an independent Muslim school in Gothenburg forced to close its doors after it was revealed that the former principal one of six violence-promoting Islamist extremists deemed to be a national security threat. Furthermore, according to a report from evening newspaper Expressen, the same school employed four Islamic State returnees and seven others with links to radical Islamic extremists. 

Yüksel, who’s defended an Islamist-led school in the past, alleged anti-Muslim discrimination had motivated the Swedish state’s closure of the institution, claiming: “There is a witch hunt against the schools just because they are Muslim.” 

Later on in the interview, Yüksel also criticized bans on all forms of Islamic headgear in preschools, a measure enacted in the southern municipality of Skrup— and which has been proposed in other cities as well. Yüksel referred to such measures as “Islamophobic.”

To conclude the interview, Yüksel expressed his belief that Nyans, the Islamic party that he heads, will enter the Riksdag (Swedish parliament), and be given a popular mandate to govern in several municipalities following September’s national elections.

In Sweden’s national elections this coming fall, Nyans has a real shot at gaining considerable political influence in Sweden’s three largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmo, where immigrants—most of whom are Muslims from Middle East—comprise 27%, 25%, and 14% of the population, respectively. 

In a deeper look at Nyans, “The Islamist Party Likely to Win Seats in Swedish Parliament,” Sven R. Larson recently wrote:

Nyans has done its electoral arithmetic. A party needs 4% of the votes nationally to gain seats in the Riksdag, or 12% in one electoral district. The three largest counties in Sweden, home to the three largest cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö, have about half the country’s population. At least in theory, this means that an average, and entirely realistic, vote share of 20% in these three countries could put Nyans at 10% in the Riksdag election. 

Undoubtedly, Nyans will also gain votes outside of the three largest counties. Rural parts of Sweden have seen major immigration over the past 20 years, in particular from Muslim countries. Although unlikely, there is a possibility that Nyans manages to get as much as one third of the votes in the three most populous counties; if it also reach a vote share above the Riksdag threshold in the rest of the country, it could win as many as 20% of the seats in the parliament.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.

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