Convicted of racism, accused of Nazi ties, known for burnings of the Quran… and about to become a Danish MP?
Danish lawyer Rasmus Paludan was little known a few months ago but his far-right party has gained traction ahead of a general election on June 5.
His political movement — Stram Kurs (Hard Line) — calls itself the party for “ethnic Danes”, wants to ban Islam and deport all Muslims from Denmark.
His party is forecast to win 2.3%, according to a recent poll published by Voxmeter, which would be enough to enter parliament.
Hard Line’s rise comes as support for the country’s biggest nationalist movement, Danish People’s Party, has fallen.
“Hard Line’s only agenda is to be extremely tough on refugees, immigrants and Muslims in particular, and that attracts a small group of voters who think anti-immigration policies can always get harder and more radical,” said elections specialist and professor of political science at Copenhagen University, Kasper Møller Hansen.
Since founding his party in July 2017, Paludan has earned a following on YouTube and Snapchat but in recent months he emerged from virtual stardom among teenagers to securing election candidacy by gathering the required 20,000 digital signatures of endorsement from voters.
In April, a Danish court found Paludan guilty of racism after he argued that people from Africa are less intelligent.
Paludan said in a December 2018 video: “The enemy is Islam and Muslims. The best thing would be if there were not a single Muslim left on this earth. Then we would have reached our final goal.”
The foundation of Hard Line is “ethnonationalism” and Paludan says you need at least two grandparents of Danish origins to prove you are Danish.
Martin Krasnik, editor-in-chief of the Danish newspaper “Weekendavisen”, called Paludan a Nazi in a recent editorial. He said that Paludan is “clearly familiar with the Nuremberg laws” from Nazi-era Germany.
Paludan denies having any associations with Nazism.
Source: Rasmus Paludan: Meet the far-right leader who wants to deport all Muslims from Denmark | Euronews