Published January 13, 2015
An MP for the Independence Party has written that he would like for there to be an investigation into Icelandic muslims, to determine whether any of them attended terrorist training camps, reports Vísir.
“Has the background of the 1.500 muslims that live in Iceland been investigated and have any “Icelandic muslims” attended terrorist training camps or fought in Afghanistan, Syria or other countries where there is unrest among muslims,” wrote Independence Party MP, Ásmundur Friðriksson, in a Facebook post. “I have often thought about asking these questions before but I have always wanted to believe the best in people but that’s not relevant where national security is concerned.”
When asked to whether he actually wanted an investigation into the pasts of Iceland’s muslims, Ásmundur said he wanted to start a discussion about the matter.
“I’m just throwing this out there,” Ásmundur told Vísir. “I wonder whether we need to worry if these kinds of people are lurking [in Iceland]. I have no idea if they are or not. I just think that we should discuss it. What do we want to do and how to go about doing it. I’m just asking whether we’ve looked into it. Can we [look into it]? Where does the law stand on this?”
Ásmundur believes that he is not a racist.
“I’m not like that,” Ásmundur said. “I’m just wondering if we don’t need to think the issue over and consider the future.”
Ásmundur added that the post was a reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris last week and that he wondered whether the Icelandic police was prepared for such an event, should it come to pass in Iceland. Especially after Iceland failed to obtain machine guns from the Norway last year.
“I think that the majority of muslims who come here are peaceful and good people,” said Ásmundur. “[But] how can we guarantee that those who want to settle down here want to live according to the society we have? Not so that we have to change our society to be more like theirs. That’s what this is all about.”
Ásmundur further expressed concerns that a small minority residing in Iceland wished to undermine the Christian faith, on which he feels the nation was built, by removing Christianity from elementary schools.
“As far as I can see, the West, where Christianity remains the foundation of most societies, is where there is most peace,” said Ásmundur.
The Social Democratic Alliance’s Youth Division, Ungir Jafnaðarmenn (Young Democrats), have already spoken out against Ásmundur’s statements with the following post on Facebook: “We at Young Democrats condemn prejudice against minorities. Security reasons is not a sufficient excuse to violate peoples rights. We hope other members of parliament for the Social Democratic Alliance take Ásmundur to task for his comments.”