The deputy speaker of the Swedish Parliament has come under fire for claiming that Jews and Sami people are “not Swedes.” Police even received a formal complaint about the comment, according to local media.
Bjorn Soder, a senior member of the Swedish Democrats who currently serves as deputy speaker of parliament, made the remarks on the Facebook page of Sweden’s Centre Party, in response to allegations of racism from the party’s leader, Annie Loof.
“Annie Loof adversely affects the position of Jews and Sami in Sweden when she indirectly claims that they are Swedes,” he wrote. “These groups have minority positions in Sweden just because they are not Swedes. Shame on you Annie Loof for your racist attitude.”
Loof had previously criticized comments made by Soder in 2014, in which he said that while Sami, Jews, and other minority groups enjoy Swedish citizenship, they are still part of their own distinct ethnic groups. The Sami are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting Sapmi, which today encompasses large parts of Norway and Sweden, northern parts of Finland, and Murmansk Region in Russia.
Loof published a screen grab of what she said were Soder’s comments, on her Instagram account, claiming that they revealed his party’s racist undertones.
“The problem with the Sweden Democrats is not just their history, but also that their dividing up of people continues even today. And at the highest levels of their leadership,” she wrote. “As a citizen…