Hard Line (political party)
|Headquarters||Enghavevej 166, 2450 Copenhagen SV|
|Colors||Red, black and blue|
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Hard Line (Danish: Stram Kurs) is a far-right political party in Denmark founded in 2017 by Danish lawyer Rasmus Paludan. The party is almost exclusively associated with its founder and his anti-Islam activism and demonstrations.
The party were on the ballot in the 2019 Danish general election, where it gained 1.8% of the votes, below the 2% election thresholds.
The party was founded in 2017 by Rasmus Paludan. It ran in six municipalities in the 2017 local elections, but in no municipality it received more than 200 votes, leaving them far from a seat in the councils. They also ran unsuccessfully in two of the five Danish regions.
Paludan became known on YouTube, where videos on the party's channel have gained 20 million views as of April 2019. The videos were often filmed during demonstrations that Hard Line held in ghettoes, where Paludan deliberately provoked Muslims, for example by drawing Muhammad, in order to gain views and attention. In 2018, the party held 53 demonstrations.
The party gained mainstream attention on 14 April, when Paludan held a demonstration at Nørrebro in Copenhagen. At the demonstration, Paludan was throwing the Quran, and he was attacked shortly after the demonstration began. The demonstration caused massive unrest at Nørrebro, when protestors attacked the police. On the following days, Paludan was barred from continuing his demonstrations, both due to the risk to the public order, and threats against Paludan.
On 27 April 2019, the party announced that it had gathered more than the 20,109 voter declarations required to appear on the ballot in the 2019 Danish general election. This was formally approved by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Interior on 6 May, where they were also given the list letter P. The declarations was not collected according to the rules, circumventing a reflection period on 7 days, but due to a loophole in the regulations, the ministry could not sanction the rule-breaking.
In early May 2019, polls showed the party with 2.7% and 3.9% support, over the threshold of 2.0% required for a party to win seats in parliament.. On May 9th an older YouTube video of Paludan holding a speech about Islam and 9/11 surfaced the web. Danish media starting reporting on the video because a statement by Paludan was interpreted as a call to violence and genocide on Muslims. "The best thing that could happen would be not to have a single muslim left on our dear earth" is the rough translation of the quote from the video filmed during a visit in New Jersey. Danish lawyer Jacob Mchangama was quoted for saying that Paludans statement, with all likeliness, was a violation of Danish law.
At the election Hard Line won 1.8% of the votes, and thus did not get any seats in the Folketing.
The party's philosophical foundation is "ethno-nationalist utilitarianism," described as maximizing the "greatest happiness for the greatest number of ethnic Danes." This platform is developed in two political pillars: first, an "identitarian" or ethno-nationalist pillar, which focuses on protecting and increasing the "ethnic, cultural, religious, linguistic, and normative homogeneity" of Denmark. Second, a libertarian pillar, which envisions a radical increase in individual freedom and rights, once the ethnic homogeneity of the country has been "restored" through the banning of Islam and massive deportations.
The Hard Line seeks a ban on Islam, a complete stop to immigration from non-Western countries, and deportation of all Muslims and most other immigrant groups. Under their proposals, only native-born ethnic Danes and those "adopted as infants" would be allowed in the country, with specific exceptions for visiting tourists, foreign diplomats, and qualified foreign spouses "with a background in the Western European culture."
Ethnic and national homogeneity are to be secured through a large-scale deportation program described in party materials:
Denmark must deport every non-Western person who has received asylum and is not a native-born citizen of one Denmark's neighboring countries. Denmark must deport every non-Western person who isn't a Danish citizen. For non-Westerners with temporary visas, the visa will not be renewed. Non-Westerners with permanent legal status should also have their status revoked and be deported.
Foreigners who have received Danish citizenship by the legal naturalization process should have their citizenship reevaluated, with the assumption that it will be annulled. Foreigners who have received asylum in Danmark, should of course be deported immediately, given that the foundation for asylum is no longer valid. This applies to their offspring, as well. Thus, deportations to Bosnia and Kosovo obviously must begin immediately.
Every person without legal status in Denmark shall be interned until they can be deported. Individuals who lack legal status while they wait for response to a visa application will be deported while the case is under review. If deportation isn't possible, the applicant should be interned while the application is reviewed.
It's unclear how many members Hard Line has. The party is run by Paludan and has no local or regional chapters, and party officials are appointed by him rather than elected by the members as is customary with Danish parties. Only a single section of the party's by-laws has been made public so far.[when?]
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