| How the sausage is made|
Rasmus Paludan (January 2, 1982–) is a Danish lawyer, YouTuber, and
provocateur politician who gained fame going to predominantly Muslim immigrant areas and calling locals "societal losers" and followers of "homo-Islam," sometimes posting videos of people burning copies of the Qur'an, which he has called “The Whore Book” and "Little Shit Book."
Paludan also sponsored a contest, inspired by the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, to draw the Muslim prophet Muhammad, posting on his Facebook page under a profile named "The Light of the Danes" cartoons of the "pædofeten" (a portmanteau word meaning "the pedophile prophet") engaged in sex acts with animals.
Born to a Danish mother and a Swedish father, and raised in North Zealand, Denmark, a place predominately inhabited by the Danish upper crust, Paludan was according to his family previously by all means a fairly average person amongst his relatively well-off economic peer group. Paludan began his studies at law at the University of Copenhagen in 2001, and appears to only have been moderately interested in politics and was known to vote for the Danish Social Liberal Party for most of his early youth. In 2005, however, Paludan was involved in a serious traffic accident, where he was struck by a car while riding a bike, resulting, amongst other things, in a head injury. In the wake of the accident, Paludan was subjected to a neuropsychological medical examination, which found that he had suffered some degree of brain damage and incurred a 25% degree of disability as a result. His family and friends would also discover a rather drastic change in his personality following the accident; most notably he became extremely short tempered and unable to handle conflicts in a constructive manner. Paludan himself would testify to this personality change in court several times. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, the timing of the accident and the personality change that followed it, seems to very much coincide with Paludan's increasing political radicalization from a rather milquetoast liberal towards extreme far right-wing views.
In 2008, Paludan would finish up his law degree after having interned at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He was involved in a number of right-wing parties before founding his own, Stram Kurs (Hard Line), in 2017. The party’s platform includes a ban on Islam throughout Denmark. Paludan claims he is not Islamophobic or prejudiced against Muslim "honor culture," but rather objects to Islam because "every country that has it really goes to shit."
For the most part, Paludan has skirted the edge of Danish laws regarding freedom of expression without breaking them, and has garnered some support for himself and his party, but also criticism over how considerable police resources have been used to defend him in his public escapades, allegedly driving a wedge between police and immigrant communities. On April 5th, 2019, however, a Danish municipal court found Paludan guilty of a violation of Section 266(b) of the Danish Criminal Code, often called the "racism paragraph," punishable by fine or up to two years’ imprisonment. Paludan is appealing the verdict.
Paludan's party did not fare as well as initial polling suggested in its inaugural June 2019 parliamentary election. In addition, he faced a scandal when it emerged Paludan had invited a man who was an alleged pedophile, and who had been fired as a coach by another team for "inappropriate conduct," to be a player in his soccer club for boys and young men, Copenhagen-based Danernes Soldater ("Soldiers of the Danes").
Paludan would face a couple of serious legal defeats in 2020. In March, the Danish Election Committee found him and Stram Kurs guilty of signature fraud, blocking the party from being eligible for election until 2022. In June, the Court of Næstved found him guilty of fourteen offenses, including racism, defamation, and reckless driving. Paludan was sentenced to one month of prison, two years of probation, as well as being disbarred from working as a lawyer for three years and a one year revocation of his driver's license.
In August 2021, the tabloid newspaper Ekstra Bladet published several stories on Paludan's online activities, most notably that he had repeatedly been involved in conversations of an overtly sexual nature with several minors on his personal Discord channel. The revelations of this activity led to Paludan getting reported to the police.
- Danmarks Radio (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) documentary, »Rasmus Paludan — højrenationalist i børnehøjde« ("Rasmus Paludan: Right-Wing Nationalist Prominent among Children")
- Jonas Holm, »Stop med at normalisere Stram Kurs. Det er både bekymrende og farligt« ("Stop Normalizing Hard Line: It Is Both Worrying and Dangerous"), Ræson, May 7th, 2019.
- Stram Kurs YouTube video, "QURAN BURNING" (sic)
- Stram Kurs YouTube video, "Stram Kurs at Nørrebro (a district in Copenhagen Denmark) for Gay-Islam"
- Holmrud, Siv YouTube video, "Rasmus Paludan bränner pedofetens koran i Skive april 2019" ("Rasmus Paludan burns the pedo-prophet's Quran in Skive, April 2019")
- Stram Kurs YouTube video, »Paludan: DERFOR brænder vi Den Store Luderbog! Aarhus, 2.2.2019« ("Paludan: THAT'S why we burn The Big Whore Book! Aarhus, February 2nd, 2019")
- Rasmus Paludan's LinkedIn page
- MSN News, »OVERBLIK: Stram Kurs vil lede landet og forbyde islam« ("OVERVIEW: Hard Line wants to lead the country and forbid Islam")
- Danmarks Radio (Danish Broadcasting Corporation), »Aftenshowet« ("The Evening Show"), May 8, 2019
- Abaz, Elvir. »Politiassistent: Beskyttelsen af Rasmus Paludan slider på politiets tillid i de sociale boligområder« ("Police officer: Protection of Rasmus Paludan is eroding police's trust in society's apartment districts"), Politiken, January 30th, 2019. Accessed May 15th, 2019.
- David Attardo and Andreas F.R. Wentoft, »Partileder dømt« ("Party leader found guilty"), Ekstra Bladet, April 5th, 2019. Accessed May 15th, 2019]
- Danish penal code (in Danish). Section 266(b) also punishes threatening, humiliating or degrading public statements against people based on their religious beliefs and sexual orientation, in addition to race, skin colour, ethnic identity or national origins, particularly if it happens as a part of a propaganda effort.
- »Rasmus Paludan førte mistænkt børnekrænker sammen med skolebørn« ("Rasmus Paludan strongly suspected child molestation in connection with schoolchildren"), Redox, June 4th, 2019. Accessed June 9th, 2019.