New Muslim Swedish Party to Give Islamophobia Special Criminal Classification

New Muslim Swedish Party to Give Islamophobia Special Criminal Classification

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The newly formed Muslim Nuance Party, which is running in the forthcoming elections in Sweden on September 11, wants to outlaw Quran burning.

According to the party leader Mikail Yüksel, Quran burning is not a statement, but an action “directly aimed at Muslims”.

With Muslims as its primary focus, Nuance describes itself as a party that prioritizes the rights of minorities. The established parties, particularly Muslim ones, have been accused of failing minorities, according to Nuance spokespeople.

Among other things, the party seeks to the Care of Young Persons Act (LVU) based on claims that Swedish authorities are kidnapping Muslim children. The LVU gives the Swedish state framework to intervene in the care of a young person in case of circumstances that create risk of harm to a young person’s health or development, including honor-related violence or oppression at home, Sputnik reported.

“We want to review the cases where there are requests from the parents if they consider themselves to be unfairly treated”, Mikail Yüksel told national broadcaster SVT.

Overall, the Nuance party said it was particularly focused on three problems it considers most urgent: Islamophobia, integration and housing shortages. The party aims to ensure that Muslims and Afroswedes receive a special minority status in Sweden's constitution in the same way as Jews, Roma and Sami. The party also claims to be working for Islamophobia to be given a special criminal classification. It is against bans on religious garments at schools (including Muslim veils of all sorts).

However, the party received substantial backlash from its established colleagues, as Nuance leader Yüksel formerly was a member of the Center Party, but was expelled for association with Turkish nationalists Gray Wolves.

At the same time every seventh Nuance candidate has at least one conviction, according to the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. According to the newspaper Sydsvenskan, 5 of the 25 candidates registered in Skåne County running for the party spread hatred against Jews and Shiite Muslims on social media.

Social Democrat Justice Minister Morgan Johansson warned the party and described them as “a threat to the open society”. Other established parties followed suit.

“Freedom of speech is the basis of a democratic state. An attack on freedom of expression is by definition an attack on democratic society”, Center MP Niels Paarup-Petersen told SVT.

Sofie Blombäck, political scientist at Mid Sweden University, stressed parties with a clear-cut religious base are traditionally unusual in Swedish politics, which has mostly focused on “economic and in recent years even environmental issues”. She stressed that, for example, it took a relatively long time for Sweden to get a Christian Democratic party into the parliament. According to Blombäck, the party most comparable to Nuance is the Dutch party Denk, which also targets immigrants with a Muslim background. According to Blombäck, it is not impossible for the party to get into an immigrant-heavy municipality like Malmö.

The exact number of Muslims in Sweden is up for debate as religious profiling is considered unethical in the Nordic country, but Pew Research estimated its Muslim population at 8.1 percent of the total population of over 10 million.

Quran burning has become a hot-button issue following numerous actions by Danish-Swedish anti-immigration politician Rasmus Paludan.

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