Iraqi Refugees Quran Burning in Stockholm Sparks Global Outrage

An act of Quran burning outside a mosque in Stockholm has triggered widespread condemnation and protests around the world. The incident, granted a permit by Swedish authorities, has drawn criticism from various countries, Islamic leaders, and international organizations.

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A recent incident involving the burning of a Quran outside the Stockholm Central Mosque has ignited widespread condemnation and outrage across the globe. Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi refugee living in Sweden, desecrated the holy book on the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holidays, a significant occasion celebrated by billions of Muslims worldwide. The act, which was granted a permit by Swedish authorities, has been met with strong criticism from various countries, Islamic leaders, and international organizations.

The distressing scene unfolded as Mr. Momika, donning AirPods, tore up and burned the Quran multiple times. He even placed a strip of bacon, forbidden in Islam, on the holy book and stamped on it with his foot, while an unidentified man spoke to the crowd through a megaphone. The act, combined with Stockholm’s defense of hate speech under the pretext of freedom of expression, has sparked outrage and protests around the world.

Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council immediately announced legal proceedings to extradite Salwan Momika in accordance with Article 14 of the Iraqi Penal Code. The council expressed its condemnation of the sacrilege and tasked the General Prosecution Office and the Al-Karkh Investigation Court to expedite the necessary legal procedures. Furthermore, prominent Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr called on his supporters to hold an “angry protest” at the Swedish embassy, demanding the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador and the revocation of Momika’s nationality.

The burning of the Quran has drawn strong condemnation from numerous nations, particularly those in the Middle East. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that insulting the sacred values of Muslims does not constitute freedom of expression and vowed to teach the Western world this lesson. The Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, described the act as “despicable” and criticized the exploitation of freedom of expression to justify such actions. Morocco also recalled its ambassador to Sweden indefinitely, while Iran summoned Sweden’s chargé d’affaires to express its strong objection to the incident, calling it “provocative, ill-considered, and unacceptable.”

Saudi Arabia firmly condemned the act, stating that it incites hatred, exclusion, and racism, directly contradicting international efforts to foster tolerance and moderation. Jordan joined the chorus of condemnation, summoning the Swedish ambassador and expressing its strong protest against the racist and incitement act. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed deep concern over the incident, condemning the burning of the Quran as a provocative action that fuels hatred and goes against the values of respect and tolerance.

The international community has also voiced its disapproval of the Quran’s burning. The United States Department of State spokesperson emphasized the need to protect freedom of expression while condemning the demonstration that created an environment of fear, impeding the exercise of religious freedom. During a visit to an Istanbul mosque, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized the significance of respecting the Quran and the religious sensibilities of Muslims, claiming that offending the holy book is a crime in Russia.

This abhorrent act in Sweden has not only caused immense offense to Muslims but has also raised significant concerns about the rise of Islamophobia, religious contempt, and hate crimes in several European countries. Calls for responsible actions to prevent the incitement of hatred and promote societal harmony and stability have grown louder.

As the international community continues to express its condemnation and demands for respect, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding shared values of tolerance, acceptance, and peaceful coexistence among diverse communities and nations.


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