Iraq, OIC Denounce Sweden's Handling of Quran Desecration in a Stern Correspondence

Iraq, OIC Denounce Sweden's Handling of Quran Desecration in a Stern Correspondence

Shafaq News / The Iraqi Embassy in Sweden and member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) sent a stern letter to Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, condemning the desecration of copies of the holy Quran on Swedish soil.

A statement by the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the signatories warned that such actions lead to "incitement to hatred and discrimination against individuals or groups who believe in a specific religion or faith."

"Granting permission to burn the Holy Quran by the Swedish authorities sends a message that such hostile acts targeting beliefs are acceptable," the statement said, "this blatantly contradicts various UN resolutions as well as Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which emphasize the importance of promoting religious tolerance, respecting diversity, and protecting individuals' freedom of religion and belief."

The Swedish foreign minister responded in a subsequent correspondence, "I acknowledge your concern expressed in your message, and I would like to assure you that all acts of Islamophobia in any form are strongly rejected by the Swedish government."

He added, "I fully understand that Muslims, both in Sweden and in the member countries of the OIC worldwide, have been greatly offended by such actions. Desecrating the Quran or any other sacred book is an offensive and disrespectful act."

Billström said that his government "strongly rejects attempts by extremists and instigators to sow division between Muslims and non-Muslims" and that his government does not support Islamophobia in any way, whether expressed during demonstrations or elsewhere.

"However, Sweden has a constitutional right to freedom of religion, assembly, and demonstration, so we deeply regret that individuals exploit these freedoms to insult what is sacred to a religion and an important part of Swedish society."

Late last month, an Iraqi refugee residing in Sweden named Salwan Momika burnt a copy of the Quran near one of the largest mosque in Stockholm.

He repeated this act by desecrating the Quran and the Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi embassy in Sweden.

Following this incident, members of Islamophobic group (Danske Patrioter) burned a copy of the Quran and the Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen, and such actions were repeated three times in Denmark.

Yesterday, the Swedish news agency "T.T" reported that the Swedish Migration Agency would re-examine the residency permit granted to the Iraqi refugee responsible for several incidents of Quran desecration in Stockholm in recent weeks.

The Swedish agency stated that Momika has a temporary residence permit in Sweden that is set to expire in 2024, but they are now reviewing his case based on information provided by Swedish authorities to determine if his status in Sweden should be revoked.

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