Excerpt:

A top Sweden Democrat defending a racism-accused colleague has claimed the Koran states that "rape is a Muslim form of punishment". The prime minister quickly joined a choir of critics and said it illustrated the minority party's us-versus-them rhetoric.

The latest controversy stemming from statements by top brass of the far-right nationalist party started with a Facebook post by Michael Hess, vice chair of the Sweden Democrats in Karlskrona in southern Sweden, in which he wrote that "rape is deeply rooted in Islamic culture".

When asked about Hess' comments, Linus Bylund, press secretary for party leader Jimme Åkesson, said the statement couldn't be construed as racist because it was factual.


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