The Swedish government is demanding the White House clarify Republican President Donald Trump’s claim on Saturday that something terror-related happened “last night in Sweden.”
Trump sent Sweden and the media into confusion when at a campaign-like rally in Florida Saturday afternoon, he used the made-up attack to defend his Muslim travel ban which has been overturned by multiple courts.
No attack took place in Sweden.
The Swedish government is rightfully irked by the false claim.
“Our embassy in Washington has been in contact with the US foreign affairs office to get clarification. We’re of course wondering [what he referred to],” said government spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson.
“Let’s see if we get an answer from the embassy.”
Trump’s claim even garnered a response by Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt.
“Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound,” Bildt tweeted.
Sweden has taken in a large number of Muslim refugees fleeing violence in countries such as Syria, but have not suffered any terrorist attacks as a result.
On the contrary, the most recent violence in Sweden has been perpetrated by neo-Nazis against refugees.
Trump’s administration has been using these made-up attacks since to defend his unpopular and unconstitutional Muslim travel ban. Non-existent attacks such as the Bowling Green Massacre and an imaginary incident in “Atlanta” have been cited numerous times by Trump’s senior staff.
The Trump camp’s continued use of this kind of rhetoric is extremely alarming for a number of reasons, not limited to only the travel ban, but also as part of future justification for military actions against Islamic countries.
Trump is purposefully fostering an atmosphere of Islamophobic fearmongering based on outrageous lies, and we can’t allow him to put American Muslims in further danger.
Dan Arel is a bestselling author of The Secular Activist; and Parenting Without God. He is an award-winning journalist and host of the Danthropology Podcast.