One of Europe’s leading anti-Muslim activists – a prominent ‘counter-jihadist’ – has recently begun to engage in Holocaust denial.
Ingrid Carlqvist is a Swedish journalist and a founder of the Swedish Free Press Society. She has also written for the leading counter-jihadist (CJ) website Gates of Vienna and was Editor-in-Chief for Dispatch International, a CJ publication launched with Lars Hedegaard and sent out to all members of the Sweden Democrats in November 2012.
Carlqvist’s influence has spread beyond Europe. Carlqvist is a former contributor to the Gatestone Institute in America, and in March this year the Swedish anti-racist organisation EXPO revealed how this notorious right-wing extremist was being touted as an expert via Fox Business on American television.
Despite having garnered a modicum of mainstream credibility, Carlqvist has recently begun to openly engage in Holocaust denial, in line with a pattern of anti-Muslim activists advancing onto anti-Semitism.
Writing on Facebook she stated:
“I recommend everyone to check the evidence for the Holocaust. Most people are convinced that there are tons of evidence, but when you start looking at them its not that obvious anymore. Always check everything.”
“There is so many lies about the Holocaust – Soap and lampshades. And this about 6 million jews. The public records from the camps have lowered the numbers a lot, but people still say 6 million. Its about time we talk about the facts!”
She then followed this up with a tweet questioning survivor testimony:
“You are aware that many of the [Holocaust] survivors have faked their stories?”
Speaking on the far-right Motgifts podcast Carlqvist proceeded to disasociate herself from the counter-jihad movement, bemoaning its Jewish funders, and went as far as to distance herself from longtime collaborator and leading European CJ activist Lars Hedegaard.
Carlqvist’s shift towards ever greater extremism has been progressing for some time and she was recently spotted at an international ‘alt-right’ conference in Stockholm alongside leading far-right racists and nazis from across Europe.
Carlqvist’s embrace of the extreme right and Holocaust denial will be deeply embarassing to her former allies in the counter-jihad world.
Less than a year ago, the British commentator Douglas Murray of the Henry Jackson Society wrote an article for the Gatestone Institute in which he described her as “Gatestone’s Swedish expert” and called for the “support of journalists such as Carlqvist, and against the authorities who would silence all of us.” Carlqvist parted ways with Gatestone last year.
Part of a Pattern
This is just the latest example among dozens of anti-Muslim activists who started solely by focusing on Islam and Muslims but, with time, have been radicalised into more orthodox far-right or fascist activism rife with anti-Semitism.
Here in Britain we have seen this time and time again with extreme-right activists, some of whom were previously not politically engaged and then joined the anti-Muslim English Defence League (EDL), with time embracing more explicitly fascist ideologies.
Among plentiful examples is Paul Prodromou (aka Paul Pitt) who was once in charge of the Essex divisions of the EDL but then went on to form the even more extreme South East Alliance splinter group. In recent years Prodromou has spoken at the anti-Semitic London Forum and attended fascist Golden Dawn demonstrations in London.
Similarly, Shane Calvert (aka ‘Diddyman’) of the EDL went on to found the violent North West Infidels, linked to the fascist National Front, and has since been involved with the violently anti-Semitic Combat 18.
These examples serve as an important reminder that, while all prejudices are unique, we can’t tackle them in isolation and that it is important to speak with one voice against all prejudice and discrimination whether it is against Muslims, Jews or anyone else.
Additional research and translation by Anna-Sofia Quensel.
Head of Research
Dr Joe Mulhall is Head of Research at HOPE not hate. Formerly he was a visiting lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London where he also completed his PhD on the postwar far right. He has published extensively on the international far right and discussed his research on the BBC, CNN and Channel 4 News, among others. If you have a tip, get in touch at [email protected]Twitter