Politician sorry for Islam-violence letter

A far right politician has been forced to apologise after the Norwegian media uncovered a letter sent to his colleagues, in which he suggests Muslims should be psychologically de-programmed against violent tendencies.

Trond Roed, of the country’s anti-immigration Progress Party, sent the document to around 100 party members in 2004, The Foreigner reports.

In it, he claims the Koran incites violence and that preaching should be banned. “One should therefore question whether hour-long Koran citations over many years can cause serious psychological damage, with a consequent risk of committing criminal and destructive acts. Another question is whether it is possible to establish suitable psychiatric treatment institutions that can carry out the de-programming,” one paragraph read.

Norwegian-born professor and Islam researcher, Anne Sofie Roald, said the idea that violence and Islam are linked indicates a distinct “lack of history”. “Even though Islam has more of a political background, Christianity has been used politically and is, amongst other things, used for such purposes in the US today,” she told VG, “not to mention in a politically violent manner under the Crusades.”

Mr Roed apparently hoped the 11-page letter would contribute to shaping the party’s immigration policy. He has since apologised, claiming, “I don’t stand for what I said then any longer, regret sending it, and that I didn’t conduct better research at the time.”

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