Sweden's anti-Islam protest continues

Sweden's anti-Islam protest continues

Southern Sweden saw another night of unrest Saturday over plans by an anti-Islam far-right political party to burn a Qur.

Police said that up to 100 mostly young people threw stones, set cars, tyres and dustbins on fire and put up a barrier fence in the town of Landskrona after authorities moved a demonstration by Danish party Stram Kurs to the nearby city of Malm about 45 km 27 miles south.

The situation calmed in Landskrona by late Saturday but remained tense, police said, adding no injuries were reported in the action.

Kim Hild, a spokesperson for police in southern Sweden, had said earlier on Saturday that police would not revoke permission for the Landskrona demonstration organised by Stram Kurs because the free-speech threshold for doing that is very high in Sweden.

Hild told Swedish news agency TT that the right of the protesters to demonstrate and speak out weighs enormously, and it takes an incredible amount for this to be ignored.

Several cities, including Linkoping and Norrkoping, have also been reported to have clashes with Stram Kurs, which has had demonstrations or planned for demonstrations since Thursday.

On Friday night, violent clashes between demonstrators and counter-protesters erupted in the central city of Orebro ahead of Stram Kurs plan to burn a Qur an there, leaving 12 police officers injured and four police vehicles set on fire.

Video and photos from the chaotic scenes in Orebro showed burning police cars and protesters throwing stones at police officers in riot gear.

At Saturday s demonstration in a central park in Malm Stram Kurs leader Rasmus Paludan addressed a few dozen people. A small number of counter-protesters threw stones at demonstrators and police were forced to use pepper spray to disperse themselves.

Paludan was reported to have been hit by a stone on his leg, Swedish media said. According to police, no serious injuries were reported.

In 2017, Paludan, a Danish lawyer who also holds Swedish citizenship, set up Stram Kurs, or Hard Line. It runs on an anti-immigration and anti-Islam agenda.