Martin Strid, of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD), made the comments while addressing party faithful gathered for the SD’s national conference. Other members have distanced themselves from Strid who now faces expulsion.
“On one end of the scale you are 100 percent human, a person, everything that’s part of that concept. At the other end, you are 100 percent Mohammedan,” he said. He continued, saying that “all Muslims are somewhere on that scale” with ISIS militants “close to being 100 percent Mohammedan.”
Though he wasn’t finished: “If you are an ex-Muslim you have come quite far towards being fully human” while also stating that he wanted to “free Muslims from Islam, the goal is for them to join SD instead.”
Strid’s inflammatory speech was recorded by Swedish broadcaster SVT and was shared online, in one instance by the group “Inte rasist, men” (Not racist, but) whose mission is to “showcase the inexhaustible source of humor and horror that the Sweden Democrats stand for.”
SD members distanced themselves from Strid’s comments, with party secretary Richard Jomshof, branding them “racist” and that he expected Strid to be expelled from the SD. Party leader, Jimmie Åkesson, echoed these sentiments, saying in an interview with SVT that Strid’s comments “may be the worst I have ever heard in such a context” and that it is “very close to racism.”
For his part, Strid apologised for his remarks. “It was very unfortunate and I expressed myself very clumsily,” the Local reports him as saying in an interview with news agency TT, he further said that he was aware his speech could be interpreted as saying Muslims are not 100 percent human.
“I have realised [this] and it’s very unfortunate. I know a lot of Muslims and am good friends with a lot. People are people, of course,” he said.