Quran Burning In Sweden Sparks Outrage

An anti-immigrant politician from the far-right Danish political party fringe burned a copy of the Quran near the Turkish Embassy in Sweden. 

The Quran burning was carried out by Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right political party Hard Line. Paludan, who also has Swedish citizenship, has held a number of demonstrations in the past where he has burned the Quran.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia condemned on Sunday the burning of the Holy Quran. Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh described the incident as an “absurd and disgraceful act”. 

“This is a provocative act against one and a half billion Muslims around the world. It fuels strife and serves the advocates of extremism,” Al-Sheikh said.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned Swedish authorities for allowing the politician to burn a copy of the Quran. 

“The foreign ministry affirms the Kingdom’s firm position calling for the importance of spreading the values of dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence, and rejecting hatred and extremism,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its Twitter account.

Sweden and Finland applied last year to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, in order to be admitted into the defense alliance, all 30 member states must approve their bids.

Turkey has said Sweden in particular must first take a clearer stance against what it sees as terrorists, mainly Kurdish militants and a group it blames for a 2016 coup attempt.

At the demonstration to protest Sweden’s NATO bid and to show support for Kurds, speakers stood in front of a large red banner reading “We are all PKK”, referring to the Kurdistan Workers Party that is outlawed in Turkey, Sweden, and the United States among other countries, and addressed several hundred pro-Kurdish and left-wing supporters.

The Arab Parliament also strongly condemned the incident and stressed its “total rejection of such disgraceful acts, which are considered a violation of all international laws and covenants on the need to respect people’s sanctities, beliefs, and religions.”

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