Rasmus Paludan, an anti-Islam politician, burns a Koran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo/REUTERS
STOCKHOLM – Rasmus Paludan an anti-Islam politician, has burned copies of the holy book Al-Qur’an outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, last Saturday.
Swedish Prime Minister (PM) Ulf Kristersson condemned Paludan’s actions even though his party also upholds freedom of expression.
The Qur’an burning has increased tensions between Sweden and Turkey when the Nordic country asked Ankara’s blessing for its bid as a new member of NATO.
Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right party; Hard Line, which is known to be anti-Islam. He is listed as a citizen of Denmark and Sweden.
Also read: Rasmus Paludan Burns the Koran for Protests against Islam and Erdogan
In the permit he obtained from the local police, it was described as a protest against Islam and what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called attempts to influence freedom of expression in Sweden.
Angry that Paludan was allowed by the Swedish police to burn the Koran, Ankara canceled the visit of the Swedish defense minister and summoned the ambassador of the Nordic country.
PM Ulf Kristersson, via Twitter, has responded to Paludan’s actions. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy. But what is legal is not necessarily appropriate. Burning a holy book for many people is a very disrespectful act,” PM Kristersson tweeted.
“I want to express my sympathy for all the Muslims who were offended by what happened in Stockholm today,” he continued, as quoted by AFP, Monday (23/1/2023).
Many Muslim countries say they are outraged by the burning of the Koran on Saturday.
Morocco, for example, said it was surprised the authorities allowed the Paludan action in front of Swedish order troops.
Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also strongly condemned the burning of the holy book, as did the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Dozens of protesters gathered Saturday night in front of the Swedish Consulate in Istanbul, where they burned the Swedish flag and called on Turkey to cut diplomatic ties with Stockholm.
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