STOCKHOLM - Two men burnt a Quran outside the main mosque in Stockholm on Wednesday to coincide with the beginning of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha following approval from a Swedish court,
According to Swedish public broadcaster SVT, the guy who had requested authorization for the action, a 37-year-old Iraqi immigrant who wants the book banned, tore out pages from the Quran, rubbed them on his shoe, and put part of them on fire.
Around 200 individuals, including counter-protesters, arrived to observe. One person who attempted to throw a rock was apprehended.
On Wednesday, a court granted permission. Protests are seldom prohibited in Sweden, even those that other nations may view as inciting violence.
The event could make it harder for Sweden to convince Turkey to accept its request for NATO membership. Sweden shouldn't join the alliance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in response to a prior Quran burning.
The court had said that there must be a clear connection between security problems and the planned gathering. Police deemed this to not be the case, according to Swedish broadcaster TV4.
"The security risks and consequences that the authorities can see connected to a Quran burning are not of such a nature that according to the current law they give grounds for a decision to reject a request for a general gathering," the court said.
"Police authorities, therefore, give you permission for the requested gathering," it added.
Türkiye condemns desecration
On Wednesday, the demonstration was denounced by Turkey's foreign minister as a "heinous act."
"It is wrong to sanction such anti-Islamic activities under the banner of free speech. To remain silent about such horrible acts is to participate in them,'' according to a statement from Hakan Fidan.
Morocco recalls its envoy
Morocco's ambassador to Sweden was recalled on Wednesday for an indefinite period following the incident.
The Swedish charge d'affaires in Rabat was also called by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry, which voiced the country's "strong condemnation of this attack and its rejection of this unacceptable act," according to the official news agency.
The US Department of State expressed its opposition to the burning of the Quran. “The burning of religious texts is disrespectful and hurtful, and what might be legal is certainly not necessarily appropriate,” spokesperson Vedant Patel said.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson called the incident “provocative, ill-considered and unacceptable”. “The government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran… do not tolerate such an insult and strongly condemn it,” said Nasser Kanani. “The Swedish government is expected to seriously consider the principle of responsibility and accountability in this regard, while preventing the repetition of insulting the holy sanctities,” he added.
The Saudi foreign ministry also condemned the burning. “These hateful and repeated acts cannot be accepted with any justification,” it said.
Egypt said Momika’s act was “shameful”, especially since it took place on Eidul Adha. Its foreign ministry voiced concern about “repeated incidents” of the burning of the Quran in Europe. “Egypt expresses its deep concern about the repeated incidents of burning the Holy Qur’an and the recent escalation of Islamophobia and crimes of blasphemy of religions in some European countries, affirming its total rejection of all reprehensible practices that affect the constants and religious beliefs of Muslims,” it said in a statement.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 22, 2024 (Thursday)
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.
Euro comes down to 300.2 for buying and 303.2 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.6 for buying, and 354.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.45.
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