Türkiye, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia lead Muslim world's outrage after Sweden allows notorious habitual offender Rasmus Paludan to burn copy of Holy Quran under "freedom of expression" guise.
Muslim world has erupted in anger and alarm after Sweden allowed a far-right racist politician Rasmus Paludan to burn a copy of the Muslim Holy book Quran in front of the Turkish embassy building in Stockholm.
Here are some of the first reactions:
"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden today (21 January), despite our repeated warnings earlier," a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said.
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."
"This senseless and provocative Islamophobic act hurts the religious sensitivities of over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world," said a statement from the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.
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.
The incident "hurts Muslims' sentiments across the world and marks serious provocation," Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah said in statements cited by the state news agency KUNA.
He called on the international community "to shoulder responsibility by stopping such unacceptable acts and denouncing all forms of hatred and extremism and brining the perpetrators to accountability."
Reactions pour in from around the world following the 'vile attack' on Quran in Sweden. Our correspondent Mustafa Fatih Yavuz reports from occupied East Jerusalem pic.twitter.com/5zuwPKOF4p— TRT World (@trtworld) January 21, 2023
"Saudi Arabia calls for spreading the values of dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence, and rejects hatred and extremism," the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The United Arab Emirates said it was against "all practices aimed at destabilising security and stability in contravention of human and moral values and principles".
Qatar condemned the Swedish authorities' permission to burn the Holy Quran and call on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to reject hatred and violence.
Calling it an attempt to stoke hatred and violence against Muslims, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said some European countries under the false pretext of advocating freedom of speech "allow extremist and radical elements to spread hatred against Islamic sanctities and values".
Kanaani said despite the strong emphasis on human rights in Islam, Europeans continue to "institutionalise anti-Islamism and Islamophobia" in their societies.
He added that the desecration of the Quran is a "clear example of spreading hatred and fueling violence against Muslims", which has "nothing to do with freedom of speech and thought".
Swedish authorities giving permission for a far-right political leader to burn a copy of the Quran, in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on Saturday. This latest sparked outrage in Türkiye and around the world putting Europe's Islamophobia in the spotlight once again pic.twitter.com/2KUibG5fwl— TRT World (@trtworld) January 21, 2023
Jordan "condemned the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran in the Swedish capital Stockholm, stressing the Kingdom's rejection of this act that fuels hatred."
It emphasised the necessity to spread the culture of peace and acceptance of the other and "condemning extremism is a collective responsibility."
Egypt expressed its strong condemnation of the disgraceful act that provokes the feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world.
Egypt warned of the dangers of the spread of such acts that offend religions and fuel hate speech and violence, calling 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.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation bloc said the "provocative action... targets Muslims, insults their sacred values, and serves as further example of the alarming level reached by Islamophobia" and asked Sweden to punish those behind a "hate crime".