Martin Strid (left), image from Sweden Democrat conference (right)
Martin Strid (left), Sweden Democrat conference (right) Credit: Lars Larsson/TT (left), Stefan Jerrevång/TT (right)

Sweden Democrat quits after saying Muslims not "fully human"

3:19 min

The Sweden Democrats' attempt to position their party as the "new healthcare party" at their conference was overshadowed by a local board member's racist remark.

On Saturday, Martin Strid, a board member of the Sweden Democrats from Borlänge in Dalarna, suggested to his party conference that Muslims are not completely human.

"There is a scale, from 0 to 100, and on one end, you are 100 per cent fully human, with everything that term covers," he said in his speech. "On the other end you're 100 percent Mohammedan. All Muslims are somewhere on this scale."

At the time, none of the party members present stood up to counter the comments. Sweden Democrat MP Aron Emilsson later explained that although he was present, he did not react because he was busy deliberating with someone else. He told Swedish Radio News that the party distanced itself from the "reprehensible" remark.

On Sunday, Strid told TT news agency that he apologised for expressing himself "clumsily". In the evening, TV4 reported that he had asked to leave the party.

Rashid Musa, leader of the Young Muslims of Sweden, told Radio Sweden that his organisation had reported Strid to the police for hate speech.

One of the conference's main aims was to brand the Sweden Democrats as the "new healthcare party". One proposal is to guarantee access to specialised care within thirty days, as opposed to the current ninety. They also want more public control and coordination of health services, in order to shorten waiting lists.

There was also a raft of proposals on migration and citizenship. For example, the party decided that asylum should only be granted if Sweden is the closest reachable country. They also want to make all residence permits temporary and introduce citizenship tests.

 

 

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