Türkiye condemns burning of Muslim holy book Quran in Sweden

Thu, 29 Jun 2023 11:29 GMT
'To turn a blind eye to such atrocious acts is to be a partner in crime,' says Hakan Fidan
Türkiye condemns burning of Muslim holy book Quran in Sweden

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Wednesday condemned the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, in Sweden on the first day of Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim festival.

“I condemn the vile action in #Sweden against our Holy Book, Quran, on the first day of the Eid-al-Adha!,” Fidan wrote on Twitter.

“It is unacceptable to allow these islamophobe anti-Muslim actions under the pretext of freedom of expression,” he said. “To turn a blind eye to such atrocious acts is to be a partner in crime.”

Fidan's remarks came after Swedish authorities granted permission for a Quran-burning protest outside a mosque.

Omer Celik, a spokesperson for Türkiye's Justice and Development (AK) Party, said in a statement: "We condemn the Swedish authorities' approval of the application to burn the Qur'an in front of a mosque on Eid al-Adha."

"We strongly condemn the Swedish Supreme Court's stance on protecting hate crimes. Every disrespect is a crime against humanity. We will continue to fight against these cursed acts in the strongest way possible on all political and legal grounds," he added.

Parliamentary Speaker Numan Kurtulmus also condemned the incident.

"Those who made this decision, turned a blind eye to this act, and prepared the ground for such anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim and anti-human fascist outbreaks are actually partners in crimes against humanity," he said.

"As the Republic of Türkiye and our 85-million-strong nation, as the spokesperson of a nearly 2-billion strong Muslim population, we express our strong condemnation of this situation. In this regard, we invite all civil circles in Europe to raise their voices on human rights and freedom of belief. It is an unacceptable, inhumane, ugly, heinous attack that tries to categorically turn Muslims into enemies," Kurtulmus added.

On June 12, a Swedish appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to overturn a ban on Quran burning, ruling that police had no legal grounds to prevent two Quran burning protests earlier this year.

In February, police refused permission for two Quran burning attempts, citing security concerns, after far-right Danish politician Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm in January this year.

Later, two individuals who attempted to stage provocative actions outside the Iraqi and Turkish embassies in Stockholm appealed the decision.

In April, the Stockholm Administrative Court reversed the decision, ruling that the security risks were insufficient to restrict the ability to demonstrate.

Since last year, soon after the beginning of the Ukraine war and subsequent security concerns, Sweden has sought to join the NATO alliance.

However, long-time NATO member Türkiye objected due to its security concerns, including Sweden's tolerance for terrorist groups that threaten Türkiye, as well as the country allowing provocative anti-Muslim and anti-Turkish actions under the pretext of "freedom of expression."

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