Afghanistan, Pakistan condemn burning of Holy Quran in Sweden

Afghanistan and Pakistan on Sunday added their voices to the growing condemnation of a far-right politician in Sweden for desecrating the Holy Quran, and called on Stockholm to take action to prevent such acts in the future.

The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), strongly condemned the burning and desecration of the Holy Quran and urged the Swedish government to punish the perpetrators of this act.

In a statement, the ministry also urged Stockholm not to allow such people to take provocative actions against the Islamic religion and Muslims.

“No words are enough to adequately condemn the abhorrable act of desecration of Holy Quran by a right-wing extremist in Sweden. The grab of the freedom of expression cannot be used to hurt the religious emotions of 1.5 billion Muslims across the world,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated on Twitter.

“This is unacceptable,” he added.

Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line), was granted permission by the Swedish government to burn the Holy Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on Saturday, Anadolu news agency reported.

In response to Sweden’s permission, Ankara has canceled Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson’s upcoming visit to Türkiye, read the report.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned Swedish Ambassador to Ankara Staffan Herrstrom, who was told that Türkiye “strongly condemns this provocative act, which is clearly a hate crime, that Sweden’s attitude is unacceptable, that Ankara expects the act not to be allowed, and insults to sacred values cannot be defended under the guise of democratic rights.”

Meanwhile, the Union of Organization of Islamic Cooperation News Agencies (UNA) Sunday strongly condemned the vile act of desecration of the holy Quran by far-right activists in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.

“UNA warns that this provocative action, which is considered a hate crime and has been committed repeatedly by far-right extremists, targets Muslims, insults their sacred values, and serves as a further example of the alarming level reached by Islamophobia, hate, intolerance, and xenophobia,” a press release quoting the UNA said.

The UNA further urged the Swedish authorities to take necessary measures against the perpetrators of this hate crime and called for increased international efforts to prevent the re-occurrence of such acts and for solidarity to fight Islamophobia.