The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highly and harshly condemned Sweden, criticizing their permission for allowing burning the Qur’an.
On Thursday, Erdoğan condemned burning a copy of the Qur’an in Stockholm, and said that Türkiye would never yield to a policy of provocation or threat.
“We will teach the arrogant West that freedom of expression doesn’t mean insulting the sacred values of Muslims,” he told members of his party on the Eid al Adha holiday.
Erdoğan said Türkiye would show the strongest possible response to what he described as a low protest.
The Swedish police allowed an anti-Quran protest, but after burning the Qur’an, accused the perpetrator of the act of incitement against an ethnic or national group.
Hakan Fidan, the Turkish Foreign Minister, denounced the protest and said that it is unacceptable to allow protests against the religion of Islam under the name of freedom of opinion and expression.
A series of anti-Islam protests in Sweden, demanding the rights of the Kurds, has increased tensions with Türkiye, whose support Sweden needs to join NATO.
In Russia, the Russian president Vladimir Putin said insulting the Qur’an is a crime.
This came in his conversation with the imam of a mosque in Derbent, Dagestan, southern Russia, Sedakhia Sedov, who gave Putin a copy of the Qur’an, according.
Putin said, “The Patriarch of Russia always assures us that Muslims are our brothers, and this strengthens the unity of our multinational and diverse people in sects, but it is a united people”.
Putin added, “The Qur’an is sacred to Muslims, and it’s also sacred to others… We know that some other countries act differently, and some of them don’t respect people’s religious feelings and say that it isn’t a crime”.
Putin explained, “Disrespecting the Qur’an is a crime in our country, and according to the constitution and Article 282 of the Penal Code, it’s a crime, and we will always abide by these legislative rules”.
The Russian President thanked the imam of the mosque for the gift, and said that he would find a suitable place for the Holy Qur’an in the Kremlin.
The United States also condemned saying on Thursday, that it condemns the burning of the Qur’an in front of a mosque in Sweden, but added that issuing a permit for the demonstration is support for freedom of expression and not support for this measure.
US State Department spokesman Matt Miller told a daily briefing that Washington believes the demonstration has created an environment of fear that will affect the ability of Muslims and members of other religious minorities to exercise religious freedom.
“I say we condemn it,” Miller said.
“We believe that the demonstration created an environment of fear that will affect the ability of Muslims and members of other religious minorities to freely exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief in Sweden,” he added.
“We also believe that issuing the permit for this demonstration is support for freedom of expression and not support for what happened in the demonstration,” he added.
The Swedish police had allowed the organization of a demonstration against the Qur’an.
A Swedish extremist of Iraqi origin, Sloane Momica, tore up a copy of the Holy Qur’an and burned it near the Stockholm Central Mosque, after the police granted permission to do so following a judicial decision.