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The European Union condemns the burning of a Koran in Sweden

The European Union moved yesterday its strong condemnation of the act of burning the Koran in Sweden, while calling for calm and an end to the attacks on the diplomatic headquarters of the Scandinavian country, particularly in Iraq. “This is an act that in no way reflects the opinion of the EU. The burning of the Koran or any other sacred book is an offensive, disrespectful act and, of course, it is a provocation,” says the statement published by the Foreign Action Service.

Brussels assures that it fully shares the position of the Swedish Foreign Ministry in its rejection of the burning of the holy book carried out on Wednesday by Salwan Momika, an Iraqi residing in Sweden, in the middle of the Muslim festival of Eid al Adha. The act was authorized by the Swedish police, after the denial of permission for a similar action in February was rejected by the courts in several instances in the interests of freedom of expression.

The burning of the Koran next to Stockholm’s main mosque has sparked a wave of protests in Muslim countries. In Iraq, several hundred protesters briefly stormed the Swedish Embassy building in Baghdad on Thursday and the mobilizations continued on Friday. “Those who ask for freedom of expression must be fair and reject the crime of burning the Holy Qur’an, which implies inciting hatred against millions of people,” said the influential cleric Muqtada al Sadr, who called for burning the flag of the LGTBI community. in response. The authorities of the United Arab Emirates and Jordan summoned the Swedish ambassadors to show their indignation. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly criticized what happened, which represents a new obstacle in the process of Sweden’s accession to NATO, pending the approval of Turkey and Hungary.

legal but inappropriate

Given these reactions, the EU insisted that “these manifestations of racism, xenophobia or any related act of intolerance do not take place in Europe and it is even more deplorable to have occurred in the middle of such an important celebration.”

At the same time, Brussels wanted to call for calm, particularly in Iraq, before “condemning the attacks against diplomatic headquarters.” “Now is the time to stay together for mutual understanding and respect, as well as to avoid any new escalation,” the EU defended before communicating its support for “freedom of religion, belief and expression, both nationally and abroad”.

The message is similar to the one released on Friday by the Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, who called for reflection in the face of the outrage caused in various Muslim countries, and stated that “there are no reasons to insult other people.” Faced with the argument in favor of respecting freedom of expression, he defended that “the fact that some things are legal does not imply that they are appropriate.”

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