Turkey has condemned the desecration of the Holy Quran by a far-right Danish group during an unauthorized demonstration in the capital of Sweden.
It also urged countries to take concrete action to prevent growing anti-Muslim attacks. "We see it as a positive step that Sweden does not allow (far-right demonstrations). However, the members of the Danish racist party and their aims are well known, we see with regret that provocative actions cannot be prevented and these sick people continue to benefit from it," the statement read.
"Unfortunately, disrespect for Islam has become widespread and cannot be prevented in the Scandinavian countries in recent years under the guise of freedom of press, art and expression."
Danish Hard Line (Stram Kurs) party members had sought permission from Swedish authorities to burn the Quran in Stockholm’s Rinkeby, Fittja, Alby, Husby and Upplansveby neighborhoods, where Turkish and Muslim immigrants live. However, Swedish police refused to grant them permission, but the far-right group went ahead and burned the Muslim holy book and broadcast it on social media outlets. In the video, racist party members are seen pouring gasoline on the Quran then setting it on fire in the Rinkeby neighborhood.
This was not the first time the Quran was burnt or desecrated by racist extremists in Europe. The leader of Hard Line, Rasmus Paludan, burned a copy of the Quran in Malmo last month. A riot then broke out in the city, where at least 300 people had gathered to protest against anti-Islam activities.
Daily Aftonbladet said several anti-Islam activities had taken place in Malmo, including three men kicking a copy of the Quran between them in a public square.
An anti-Muslim rally was also held by the Islamophobic group Stop Islamization of Norway (SIAN) near the Norwegian parliament in August. A scuffle took place after a female protester held up a copy of the Muslim holy book and ripped some pages out.
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