Muqtada al-Sadr Warns Sweden Against Burning Iraqi Flag and Quran, Awaits Government Response

Muqtada al-Sadr Warns Sweden Against Burning Iraqi Flag and Quran, Awaits Government Response

Shafaq News/ On Thursday, Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist movement, issued a stern warning to Sweden against allowing the burning of the Iraqi flag and the Quran.

Al-Sadr expressed his concerns about Sweden's perceived hostility towards Islam and the heavenly books and criticized the approval granted for burning the Iraqi flag.

In a tweet, al-Sadr stated, "After Sweden announced its hostility to Islam and the heavenly books, here it is crossing diplomatic lines and political norms and declaring its hostility to Iraq by approving to burn the flag of Iraq."

Furthermore, al-Sadr emphasized that he is awaiting an official response from the Iraqi government. He added, "And here I will wait for the firm official response before taking any action of my own."

Al-Sadr continued, warning that if the flag of Iraq is burned, the government should not merely rely on denunciations and condemnations. He asserted that such actions would indicate weakness and that a robust and decisive response is required to defend the national symbol.

The Swedish embassy in Baghdad was set on fire during a dawn demonstration organized by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist movement, on Thursday.

The attack on the Swedish embassy follows the controversial decision by Swedish authorities to permit a small gathering outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, further fueling tensions among the demonstrators.

The organizer behind the Quran burning, Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee in Sweden, previously burned pages of the Quran in front of Stockholm's most prominent mosque during Eid al-Adha on June 28.

Responding to storming the Swedish embassy, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned "in the strongest terms" the burning of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden in Baghdad.

The ministry called for an "urgent investigation" to uncover the circumstances of the incident and hold the perpetrators accountable under the law.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry strongly disapproved, stating, "We condemn all attacks on diplomats and staff of international organizations. All embassy employees in Baghdad are safe, and the ministry is in regular contact with them."

The ministry also highlighted that attacks on embassies and diplomats "violate the Vienna Convention, emphasizing that the responsibility to protect diplomatic missions and personnel lies with the Iraqi authorities."

A source told Shafaq News Agency that Iraqi security forces detained several journalists covering the incident during the protests and storming of the embassy. According to a security source, the journalists working for Western media outlets were transferred to a security center without further details disclosed.

As the situation unfolded, approximately ten injuries were recorded among security forces, journalists, and protesters due to stone-throwing incidents during the dawn demonstrations. The source said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed S. Al-Sudani presided over an emergency cabinet meeting with top officials to address the Swedish government permitting protesters to burn the Holy Quran.

During the meeting, the Iraqi government strongly condemned the burning of the Swedish Embassy, describing it as a "serious security breach requiring immediate action. Those accountable for security must be held responsible."

In response to the incident, it was decided to hand over the arrested individuals responsible for burning the embassy to the judiciary. Additionally, negligent security officials will be investigated and face appropriate legal measures.

The Iraqi government reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the security and protection of all diplomatic missions, pledging to confront any attacks aimed at them.

Furthermore, through diplomatic channels, the Iraqi government informed the Swedish government that any recurrence of incidents involving the burning of the Holy Quran on Swedish soil would sever diplomatic relations. The granting of permission for such actions under the pretext of freedom of expression was deemed provocative and contrary to international covenants and norms, which emphasize respect for religions and beliefs.

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