NewsIslamic states condemn the burning of the Koran in Stockholm – DW...

    Islamic states condemn the burning of the Koran in Stockholm – DW – 29.06.2023

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Sweden and the West as a whole after the public burning of the Koran in Stockholm. “We will ultimately teach the arrogant in the West that insulting Muslim sanctuaries has nothing to do with freedom of expression,” Turkey’s head of state said, according to the state news agency Anadolu.

    On Wednesday, the first day of the Islamic festival of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, a man in front of around a hundred onlookers and journalists in front of the Great Mosque in Stockholm kicked the Koran several times while waving the Swedish flag. He then stuck strips of ham, which Muslims consider unclean, into the book and burned a few pages from it. The 37-year-old Iraqi Salwan Momika, who fled to Sweden, had previously received approval from the Swedish authorities for his protest action. Similar planned actions were still prohibited in February. Swedish courts had ruled that the police had no right to refuse permission to burn the Koran. The organizer is now being investigated, among other things, for incitement to hatred.

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    Arabs are outraged

    Sharp criticism of the controversial action came from the Arab states. The Arab League strongly condemned the Swedish authorities’ approval of the incineration. Stockholm must oppose Islamophobic ideas and extremism instead of promoting them, it said.

    In response to the “unacceptable act,” Morocco recalled its ambassador to Sweden for “consultation indefinitely,” according to the Moroccan news agency MAP. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also ordered Sweden’s ambassador to Rabat. “This renewed insulting and irresponsible act spurns the feelings of more than a billion Muslims during this holy time of the pilgrimage to Mecca and the blessed festival of Eid Al-Adha,” the ministry said.

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    The Iraqi government said the action was “racist” and “irresponsible” and testified to “hateful and aggressive attitudes that violate the principles of freedom of expression.” In the capital, Baghdad, demonstrators held up Koran books in front of the Swedish embassy, ​​the state news agency INA reports. The
    influential Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr is said to have called for the protest.

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    Local media reports that the demonstrators have demanded the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador. According to the independent Iraqi news website Alsumaria News, the demonstrators withdrew after a short time. Before that, they are said to have managed to break through the gate to the Swedish embassy. The embassy staff were safe, according to the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

    “Disgraceful Deed”

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia said: “These hateful and repeated acts cannot be accepted under any justification.” They fueled hatred, exclusion and racism. Muslim-majority Egypt expressed a similar sentiment. “The burning of a copy of the Holy Quran by an extremist is a shameful act that provokes the feelings of Muslims around the world on the first day of Eid al-Adha,” the Foreign Ministry said.

    Lebanon’s pro-Iranian Hezbollah issued a statement calling on the Arab and Islamic governments to take steps to persuade other countries to “prevent the repetition of these follies on their soil and stop the spread of a culture of hatred.” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani also condemned the move as “provocative” and “unacceptable”. The US State Department also described the burning of religious texts as “disrespectful and offensive”.

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    Setback for Swedish NATO ambitions?

    In January, right-wing extremist demonstrators in Stockholm burned a Koran in front of the Turkish embassy, ​​triggering angry reactions in the Islamic world. At the time, the burning of the Koran hardened Turkish resistance to Sweden’s planned NATO membership. The latest incident could further cloud Sweden’s prospects for membership. Ankara justifies its previous blockade of Sweden’s admission to the military alliance primarily with the fact that the country is a haven for “terrorists”. This primarily refers to members of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Sweden and Finland had jointly applied for NATO membership in May 2022 before the impression of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. At the beginning of April, Finland became the 31st member of the western defense alliance.

    kle/fab (dpa, afp)

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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