Desecration of the Holy Qur’an | By Naveed Aman Khan


Desecration of the Holy Qur’an

THE burning of the Holy Quran in Stockholm is a vile attack. The Muslims all over the world condemn in the strongest possible terms.

Condemnations continued to pour in from across the Islamic world over the burning of a copy of the Quran by a Swedish-Danish extremist in Stockholm, Sweden.

Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the Stram Kurs hard line Party, burnt the Holy Book outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

Pakistan has termed the incident as a senseless and provocative Islamophobic act that hurts the religious sensitivities of over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has condemned the Swedish authorities for allowing the far-right politician to burn the Quran.

Saudi Arabia has affirmed the kingdom’s firm position calling for the importance of spreading the values of dialogue, tolerance and coexistence, and rejecting hatred and extremism.

Egypt has termed the burning of Holy Quran as a disgraceful act. Such disgraceful acts provoke the feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world.

These extremist practices are inconsistent with the values of respect of others, freedom of belief, human rights and human fundamental freedoms.

Qatar also denounced in the strongest terms Sweden’s permission to burn the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

This heinous incident is an act of incitement and a serious provocation to the feelings of more than two billion Muslims in the world.

Morocco was shocked by the Swedish permission of the burning of Islam’s Holy Book. The UAE has also condemned the incident and reiterated its rejection of all practices aimed at destabilizing security and stability in contravention of human and moral values and principles.

The UAE has renewed its call to renounce hate speech and violence and underscored the need to respect religious symbols and avoid inciting hatred by insulting religions.

Iran has termed the Quran burning as an attempt to stoke hatred and violence against Muslims.

Sultanate of Oman has termed the Quran burning as an act of provocation to the feelings of Muslims and incitement to violence and hatred, by extremists in Sweden.

It underlined the need for international efforts to consolidate the values of tolerance and coexistence and criminalize all acts that promote hatred.

In response to Sweden’s permission of the incident, Turkey has cancelled Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson’s upcoming visit to Türkiye.

Jordan joined the chorus of condemnations, stressing the kingdom’s rejection of this act that fuels hatred.

Indonesia condemned it, as did the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Bangladesh condemned the act of insulting the sacred values of the Muslims all over the world in the guise of freedom of expression.

The Afghanistan Taliban strongly condemned the burning and desecration of the Holy Quran and urged the Swedish government to punish the perpetrators of this act.

The OIC also condemn the Quran burning as a provocative action that targets Muslims, insults their sacred values, and serves as a further example of the alarming level reached by Islamophobia and asked Sweden to punish those behind a hate crime.

Al-Azhar University has decried the Holy Quran burning as a shameful act and a violation of all international laws and covenants that stipulate the necessity of respecting the sanctities of peoples, their beliefs and their religions.

An international legislation should be drawn to ensure the necessary guarantees to protect the rights of the Muslims to practice their religious obligations in the societies where they live.

The Muslim countries need to summon the Swedish Ambassadors to demand an apology from the Swedish government over the incident.

Sweden’s Premier, on one hand, has condemned this deeply disrespectful act but on the other he seems provoking and encouraging the perpetrator.

This attitude is strongly condemned. The burning of the Holy Quran in Stockholm has raised tension with Turkey as the Nordic country courts Ankara over its NATO bid.

Paludan’s demonstration has further damaged relations as Stockholm tries to convince NATO member Turkey to approve Sweden and Finland joining the military alliance.

Sweden’s bid has been stalled amid Turkey’s demands that Stockholm hand over Kurdish activists and prevent rallies attacking Turkey’s leadership.

Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the Swedish Consulate in Istanbul, where they burned a Swedish flag and called on Turkey to sever diplomatic ties with Stockholm.

Paludan, a Swedish-Danish activist who has already been convicted for racist abuse, provoked rioting in Sweden last year when he went on a tour of the country and publicly burned copies of the Holy Quran.

The religious scholars of different schools of thought from all over Pakistan have strongly condemned the act of desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden.

This senseless and provocative Islamophobic act is unacceptable because it has hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims around the world.

These abhorrent acts cannot be covered in view of the expression of the right to freedom of expression or opinion.

Islam is a religion of peace and Muslims, including in Pakistan, believe in respecting all the belief and religions.

International community needs to show a common resolve against Islamophobia, intolerance and incitement to violence on the basis of religion or belief, and also needs to work together for promoting inter-faith harmony and peaceful coexistence.

Authorities concerned in Sweden should take action against elements that supported the desecration of the Holy Quran.

The Muslims urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of the the Muslims worldwide and take steps to prevent Islamophobic acts.

The necessity to spread the culture of peace and acceptance of the other, adding that condemning extremism is a collective responsibility.

Some of the European countries under the false pretext of advocating freedom of speech allow extremist and radical elements to spread hatred against Islamic sanctities and values.

This hateful act, which offends the sensibilities of more than 1.5 billion Muslims, will fuel anger and hatred between religions and peoples.

Such actions are not covered under any legitimate expression of the right to freedom of expression or opinion which carries responsibilities under international human rights law, such as the obligation not to carry out hate speech and incite people to violence.

The Muslims urge Stockholm not to allow such people to take provocative actions against the Islamic religion and Muslims in the future.

The act of blasphemy against the Holy Book has hurt and tarnished religious tolerance. The freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy.

But what is legal in Sweden is not necessarily appropriate.Burning holy books is a highly disrespectful act.

Swedish Premier should express sympathy for all Muslims who are offended by what has happened in Stockholm.

Freedom of expression must be exercised in a responsible manner. The incident has hurt Muslims’ sentiments across the world and marked serious provocation.

Pakistani nation and the government also strongly condemn this heinous act of disgracing Holy Quran in Sweden.

—The writer is editor, book ambassador political analyst and author of several books based in Islamabad.