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UPI: Denmark and Sweden no longer want to burn the Quran

31-7-2023 |

Denmark and Sweden said they are exploring legal options to intervene in protests after the burning of Korans at far-right demonstrations in their countries have attracted condemnation from the Muslim world.

Copies of the Korans, Islam's holiest text, have been burned in both Sweden and Denmark in recent weeks, and the fallout of which has seen Stockholm's ascension to NATO membership threatened and its embassy in Iraq attacked.

At least 15 nations have issued condemnations of Denmark over the protests and the Scandinavian countries have seen their envoys summoned by Middle Eastern governments. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has also organized a meeting for Monday to discuss the recent burnings.

In separate statements Sunday, the Nordic nations said they are examining their legal options concerning these protests on their soil.

The Danish statement described the protests where copies of the Koran have been burned as actions that play "into the hands of extremists" and that "sow division at a time when we need to stand together."

"We are currently facing a situation where the burnings of the holy Koran in Denmark have reached a level where Denmark, in many parts of the world across continents, is being viewed as a country that facilitates insult and denigration of the cultures, religions and traditions of other countries," Denmark said.

The Danish government added that while freedom of expression is one of its society's "most important values," the primary purpose of some of these protests has been to insult and provoke reactions from Muslim-majority nations.

Citing national security risks, Denmark said it is exploring potential intervention in "special situations" where other countries, cultures and religions are being insulted and that could have "significant negative consequences for Denmark."

In Sweden, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said in a brief statement published to Instagram that his country was also analyzing the legal situation, including the law of order, in considering measures to strengthen national security in the wake of the Koran burnings.

"We are in the most serious security policy situation since World War II, and here at home, we know that both states, state-like players and individuals can taken advantage of the situation," he said.

"It is all about defending our free and open societies, our democracy and our citizen's right to liberty and security."

Late last month, Turkey condemned an incident of the burning of a copy of the Koran in Sweden, which is seeking NATO membership.

Turkey has threatened its application over the book burnings, stating "those who seek to become our allies in NATO, cannot tolerate or enable destructive behaviors of Islamophobic and xenophobic terrorists."

Source: UPI