The Swedish government on Sunday confirmed its condemnation of a man burning a copy of the Qur’an in front of Stockholm’s main mosque, considering what he did as an “anti-Islamic” act.
“The Swedish government fully understands that Islamophobic actions committed by individuals during demonstrations in Sweden can be offensive to Muslims,” the Swedish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Statement continues, “We strongly condemn these actions, which in no way reflect the views of the Swedish government,” recalling at the same time that freedom of expression is a constitutionally protected right in Sweden.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry’s statement coincided with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s call on Sunday, to take collective measures to prevent incidents of desecration of the Qur’an, days after a copy of the Qur’an was burned in front of a Stockholm mosque.
The organization, which includes 57 member states, held a meeting at its headquarters in Jeddah to respond to Wednesday’s incident when the 37-year-old Iraqi origin Silwan Momica, who lives in Sweden, burned pages from the Qur’an.
The organization urged member states to take a unified stance and collective measures to prevent the recurrence of incidents of desecration” of copies of the Qur’an and insult to the Prophet Muhammad.
The Secretary-General of the organization, Hussein Ibrahim Taha, emphasized the need to send a clear message that these actions are not just ordinary Islamophobia incidents.
He stressed the need to send a constant reminder to the international community regarding the urgent application of international law, which clearly prohibits any advocacy of religious hatred.