OIC condemns burning of Holy Quran in Stockholm

January 22, 2023 - 23:26

TEHRAN- Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on Sunday strongly denounced the far-right activists' heinous crime of burning the holy Quran in Stockholm, Sweden.

The OIC secretary general cautioned that this provocative conduct, which far-right extremists have undertaken repeatedly, targets Muslims, degrades their fundamental values, and serves as yet another illustration of the terrible level that Islamophobia, bigotry, intolerance, and xenophobia have reached.

The OIC chief called on the Swedish authorities to take legal action against those responsible for this hate crime.

He urged intensified worldwide efforts to stop similar crimes from happening again and called for cooperation in the fight against Islamophobia.

The condemnation came after right-wing leader Rasmus Paludan received permission from his country's government to burn the sacred Muslim book in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on Saturday. The notorious racist was protected by the police while committing the blasphemous act.

Iran denounces Sweden’s desecration of Quran

Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, also said on Saturday that some European nations have allowed extremist organizations to incite hostility towards Islamic principles and sanctuaries because of false accusations.

Despite the European human rights rhetoric, he pointed out that these countries are enshrining anti-Islamism and Islamophobia in their cultures.

Such actions have no bearing on the freedom of speech or opinion, he said.

The spokesman also remarked that the Muslim people want the Swedish government to stop future instances of such anti-Islamic conduct and to hold those responsible accountable.

Regional countries decry the blasphemous move

Several countries, including Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan, also expressed outrage over the violation of the Muslims’ religious book, Press TV reported.

Jordan said the conduct “fuels hatred”. Jordan underscored the necessity to spread the culture of peace and acceptance. It added “condemning extremism is a collective responsibility.”

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah said the act “provokes Muslims throughout the world and hurts their feelings.”

Egypt also publicly denounced the deplorable conduct that instigates strong emotions in hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide.

Egypt called for “upholding the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence and preventing offense to all religions and their sanctities through such extremist practices that contradict the values of respect for religion.”

The United Arab Emirates said the sacrilegious act contravenes “human and moral values and principles.”

Qatar also criticized the Swedish government for allowing the holy book to be burned and urged the world community to uphold its obligations to reject bigotry and violence.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “We condemn in the strongest terms the heinous attack on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden today (21 January), despite our repeated warnings before.”

Calling the act "an outright hate crime," the ministry said, "Permitting this anti-Islam act, which targets Muslims and insults our sacred values, under the guise of freedom of expression is completely unacceptable."

“This despicable act is yet another example of the alarming level that Islamophobia and, racist and discriminatory movements have reached in Europe.”

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said, “This stupid and offensive Islamophobic conduct insults the religious sensitivities of over 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world.”

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.”

“Pakistan’s concerns are being conveyed to the authorities in Sweden. We urge them to be mindful of the sentiments of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims worldwide and take steps to prevent Islamophobic acts,” the statement added.

Furthermore, Secretary General of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef Falah al-Hajraf censured the Swedish authorities, saying the move would “inflame and provoke the feelings of Muslims around the world.”

In an official statement, Hajraf affirmed the bloc’s firm conviction in the importance of spreading the “values of dialogue, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence, and rejecting hatred and extremism,” calling on the international community to assume responsibility to stop such unacceptable acts.

In addition, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas denounced the provocative conduct and urged the international community to hold those responsible accountable in a statement.

“This act is a provocation to the feelings of all Muslims, and a blatant aggression against their faith,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said, adding that the extremist behavior would “spread hatred and incite violence and create a fertile environment for extremism.”

Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement also said in a statement that the “criminal act comes in the context of a long series of disgraceful insults to Muslim sanctities.”

“We call on Islamic governments and religious authorities to denounce this abuse and work to form a global public opinion to prevent the recurrence of these violations,” it added.

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