The anti-Muslim Danish politician who was due to give a speech at the protest was banned from Sweden for two years. A year earlier, he burned a Quran wrapped in bacon.

Demonstrators burn tyres during a riot in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden on August 28, 2020.
Demonstrators burn tyres during a riot in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden on August 28, 2020. (TT News Agency - Third Party Source / Reuters)

Far-right activists burned a Quran in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, sparking riots and unrest after more than 300 people gathered to protest, police has said. 

This came on Friday after an anti-Muslim Danish politician was blocked from attending the same rally and banned from entering Sweden for two years.

Smoke billows from the burning tyres, pallets and fireworks during a riot in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden August 28, 2020.
Smoke billows from the burning tyres, pallets and fireworks during a riot in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden August 28, 2020. (THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. / Reuters)

Rasmus Paludan, who leads the far-right Danish anti-immigration party Hard Line, was due to travel to Malmo to speak at that event, which was being held on the same day as the Muslim weekly Friday prayers.

Paludan last year attracted media attention and incited controversy for burning a Koran wrapped in bacon, a meat that is anathema for Muslims. 

The protests in Malmo escalated into further violence as the evening wore on, according to police and local media. 

Police officers walk near the burning tyres and pallets during a riot in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden August 28, 2020.
Police officers walk near the burning tyres and pallets during a riot in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden August 28, 2020. (TT News Agency, Third Party Source / Reuters)

Authorities pre-empted Paludan's arrival by announcing he had been banned from entering Sweden for two years. He was later arrested near Malmo.

Paludan later put up a scathing message on Facebook.

"Sent back and banned from Sweden for two years. However, rapists and murderers are always welcome!" he wrote.

Smoke billows from the burning tyres, pallets and fireworks during a riot in Malmo, Sweden August 28, 2020.
Smoke billows from the burning tyres, pallets and fireworks during a riot in Malmo, Sweden August 28, 2020. (TT News Agency, Third Party Source / Reuters)

"We suspect that he was going to break the law in Sweden," said Calle Persson, spokesman for the police in Malmo.

"There was also a risk that his behaviour ... would pose a threat to society."

But his supporters went ahead with the rally and three people were then arrested for inciting racial hatred.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies