Balkans | Encouraged by Swedish law, neonazis target both Jews and Muslims

Home » Balkans | Encouraged by Swedish law, neonazis target both Jews and Muslims
Balkans |  Encouraged by Swedish law, neonazis target both Jews and Muslims

In Sweden, which describes the burning of the Holy Qur’an as “freedom of expression,” among those who benefit from an interpretation of this right is the Violent Norse Resistance Movement, the largest Neonazi movement in the country.

In Sweden, which defines the burning of the Holy Qur’an by Danish far-right Rasmus Paludan as “freedom of speech,” neo-Nazis have been operating comfortably since the end of World War II.

According to open sources and information in the Swedish press on the subject, the movement, which was founded in Sweden in 1997 by Neonazi nationalists as the Swedish Resistance Movement (SMR), became a movement covering the Scandinavian region after establishing Finnish branches. in 2008 and Norway in 2011.

The racist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi group, leader Adolf Hitler, targets not only Jews but also people and groups they see as ideologically opposed, and more recently Muslims.

Klas Lund, founder and first leader of SMR, was convicted in 1986 of the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Landin, who had intervened to stop an attack on three immigrants by neo-Nazis.

In 2022, some members of the US Congress have called for the organization to be added to the US State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

The organization is expanding from Sweden to the Scandinavian region

The movement has found supporters in other Scandinavian countries, establishing chapters in Finland in 2008 and Norway in 2011.

One of the main members of the organization in Sweden, Per Oberg, entered politics in 2014 when he was selected as an unlisted candidate for the Sweden Democrats (SD) in the local elections in Ludvika.

Lund was replaced as leader of the organization in 2015 by Simon Lindbergh, who has a background in the National Socialist Front (NSF) and the Popular Front.

The organization, which began calling itself the Northern Resistance Movement in 2016, has established itself as the most active far-right group in Sweden and has taken a dominant position in the radical nationalist milieu.

The Northern Resistance Movement participated in the 2018 and 2022 general elections, but failed to win seats.

He wants to overturn democracy

The goal of the pro-Nyonazi group, which bills itself as a “revolutionary vanguard”, is to overthrow the Scandinavian democracies and replace them with a unified and totalitarian National Socialist leadership state under the political control and ideological guidance of the National Revolutionary Movement.

Calling themselves the National Socialists, the Danish immigrant nationalist movement sees Nazi ideologues Povl Reis-Knudsen as an important inspiration, in addition to Adolf Hitler.

While biological racism reflects the clear basis of their politics, anti-Semitism is central to their ideologies.

On the one hand, the group aims to deport “the majority of those who are not ethnically Northern European or closely related ethnic groups” from Scandinavia and take action in this direction.


According to Swedish officials, the group has carried out IED attacks in the city of Gothenburg since November 2016. Victor Melen, a member of the National Resistance Movement, was arrested while one of them did not explode, a cafe and a refugee shelter were targeted.

On January 5, 2017, members of the National Resistance Movement detonated homemade bombs in front of a refugee shelter, injuring an immigration officer. On January 25, 2017, Swedish authorities discovered an explosive device outside another refugee camp. He revealed that the incident is related to the November 2016 attack.

In July 2017, NRM members Victor Melin, Jimmy Jonasson and Anton Thulin were sentenced to prison terms over the incident.

A Jewish association in Umeå, Sweden was targeted with swastikas in April 2017, and the association was forced to close due to these threats.

The New Zealand Northern Resistance Movement targeted Jews in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland with antisemitic campaigns during Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar in September 2020.

Attacks by members of the National Resistance Movement reflect a deeper systematic commitment to, and spread of, the group’s extremist and violent ideology.

Members are trained in martial arts and how to act when violence occurs in the streets, according to reports.

Founders and early members who are notoriously violent

Many of the founding members and early members of the neo-Nazi organization came from the defunct White Aryan Resistance (VAM) and its arm, Patriotic Youth (NU). In the early 1990s, VAM, a network of Swedish Neonazis, was known to launch attacks on immigrants and homosexuals, financing its violence through bank robberies.

Notably their actions in Sweden in 2017, where several members of the organization were convicted in a series of bombings in Gothenburg during the winter of 2016-2017.

Leaders and members of the National Resistance Movement also carried out several attacks targeting Muslims with guns, knives, pepper spray and tear gas. Some of these attacks were carried out by Simon Lindbergh and other organization leaders, who had previously been convicted of making threats and aiding and abetting the attacks.

The group split into several white power groups in the 1990s, among them the Patriotic Youth, which would continue to function as the Northern Resistance Movement’s youth movement.

The Swedish Anti-Racism Organization determined at Expo 2016 that 26 percent of the organization’s 159 most active members in Sweden had been convicted or prosecuted for violence or weapons.

Banned in Finland, but free in Sweden

The Neonazi movement, which has also been operating in Finland since 2008, was banned in that country in 2020.

The Finnish Supreme Court stated in September 2020 that the Northern Resistance Movement had been ordered closed in order to protect the general welfare of society.

While the neo-Nazi movement defended its existence and actions by the principles of “freedom of speech,” the court found that the organization repeatedly violated the law and acted against accepted moral norms such as human rights and equality.

On the other hand, there is no ban on this movement in Sweden.

According to a Swedish state report, Muslims are the biggest target of hate crimes.

According to the report published by the National Council for Crime Prevention (BRA), which is affiliated with the Swedish Ministry of Justice, in 2021, the source of 55 percent of hate crimes in the country is racism, while the source of 17 percent is religious beliefs.

Of all the hate crimes against religious groups, 51 percent were Islamophobic, 27 percent were anti-Semitic, 11 percent were against Christians, and 11 percent were against other groups.

Anti-Semitic hate crimes are mostly committed on social media and publicly available sources, while Islamophobic ones mainly resort to harassment and incitement.

While women targeted 38 percent of anti-Muslim hate crimes, men targeted 22 percent. In 31% of these crimes, groups rather than individuals were targeted.

Anti-Semitism is “normalized” insofar as it strengthens the far right

In the September 2022 elections in Sweden, the far-right Sweden Democrats raised their vote rate to 20.5%.

More than one in five Swedes voted for the SD, founded in 1988, as the Democratic Party has become the overwhelmingly largest right-wing party bloc in parliament.

This proves that far-right ideology is on the rise again in the country, while anti-Semitic issues are on the rise.

On the other hand, anti-Semitism is “uncomfortably normalized”, according to a survey of more than 16,000 people by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) from 12 EU member states.

While 40 percent of respondents from Sweden reported experiencing antisemitic harassment in the five years prior to the survey, nearly a third (30 percent) of respondents reported experiencing antisemitic harassment within 12 months.

Officials of Jewish organizations in Sweden have also expressed concerns about anti-Semitism, which has “normalised” as the far right has increased its power in the country.

In a statement released after the UN’s Independent International Expert Mechanism visited Sweden in November 2022, Sweden should “increase its efforts to combat systemic racism” and focus on “strategies to restore trust between the police and minority groups”. interest sank.


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