PM Calls Mosque Debate ‘Pathetic Political Game Play’

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PM Calls Mosque Debate ‘Pathetic Political Game Play’

By Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir
Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, prime minister and chair of the Progressive Party, said in an interview on Bylgjan radio station yesterday that he had been clear in his position towards the building of a mosque in Reykjavík but that the media had chosen to overlook it, calling the debate “pathetic political game play.”

Sigmundur said his political opponents had even been patronizing, “…like when chair of the Social Democrats [Árni Páll Árnason] starts talking to people like children, saying: ‘it’s understandable that people are afraid of what they don’t understand, but I can explain it to you.’ This is pathetic politics, of course.”

On May 29, Sigmundur posted a statement on the issue on his Facebook page, writing: “I don’t intend to get involved in the discussion on whether the City of Reykjavík should give religious associations free land or not.”

“…It’s incredible how low some people will go to attack their political opponents. When people go as far as to accuse entire groups of racism for nothing, that’s not just serious for those who are being accused but for society as a whole.”

“…It’s nothing new that opponents of the Progressive Party (and sometimes other parties) try to claim that nationalism and fanatics are the same thing. …We want to discuss issues and allow an open debate.”

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