ANKARA (AA) -The Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), a neo-Nazi organization, is among those who have benefited from Sweden’s broad description of freedom of expression that makes the burning of Islamic religious scriptures “legal from a Swedish point of view.”
Rasmus Paludan, an extremist Islamophobic Swedish-Danish politician, was behind such a heinous incident in the Swedish capital on Saturday.
A day later Edwin Wagensveld, a far-right Dutch politician and leader of the Islamophobic group Pegida, followed suit in the Hague.
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said his government did not support the burning of holy scriptures, but argued that freedom of expression “makes it legal from a Swedish point of view.”
Founded in Sweden in 1997 by neo-Nazi nationalists, the Swedish Resistance Movement (SRM) has since become a wider movement known as NRM in the Nordic region after having opened branches in Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, where it was banned.
Its aim is abolishing the current democratic order in Nordic countries.
Openly racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi, the group has been targeting not only Jews, but also people and groups they see as ideologically opposed, and more recently Muslim refugees.
In 2022, some members of the US Congress called for the NRM to be added to the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Finland banned the NMR in November 2017, but the group has continued to stage demonstrations while appealing the decision.
On January 5, 2017, individuals allegedly associated with NRM Sweden detonated homemade bombs outside a refugee lodging center in Gothenberg, injuring an immigration officer.
They also targeted a Jewish association in Umea with swastikas in April 2017, and the association had to close down due to these threats.
The NRM also targeted Jews in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland with antisemitic campaigns during Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar, in September 2020.
It is said that members are also trained in martial arts to react when violence occurs on the streets.
However, action against the NRM and other right-wing groups engaged in hate-mongering has been delayed and lacking will.