Iraqi Quran burner seeks asylum in Norway

Iraqi Quran burner seeks asylum in Norway

Shafaq News/ An Iraqi man who carried out multiple Quran burnings in Sweden has revealed plans to seek asylum in neighboring Norway following a deportation order by Swedish authorities.

Salwan Momika, 37, gained notoriety for staging several Quran burnings and desecrations in Sweden over recent years.

In an interview published Wednesday by Swedish tabloid Expressen, Momika stated, "I am on my way to Norway. Sweden only accepts terrorists who are granted asylum and protection, while philosophers and thinkers are expelled."

Momika's actions, documented in videos of Quran burnings, sparked global attention and drew criticism and anger from Muslim communities worldwide, resulting in riots and unrest in various locations. Swedish authorities are currently investigating him for incitement against ethnic groups in Sweden.

According to Expressen, Momika's activities contributed to the delay in Sweden's NATO membership, which was recently finalized after months of postponement. His actions garnered significant coverage in NATO member Turkiye, leading to Turkiy'es veto of Stockholm's bid to join the military alliance for an extended period.

While Sweden's migration authorities revoked Momika's residence permit in October due to providing incorrect information on his application, his deportation has been postponed for security reasons amid concerns for his safety if returned to Iraq.

Momika had been granted a residence permit in Sweden in 2021. Following the deportation decision last year, he received a new temporary residence permit expiring on April 16, as reported by Swedish media.

Expressing his discontent with Sweden, Momika told Expressen, "I am moving to a country that welcomes me and respects me. Sweden doesn't respect me," noting that he has already entered Norway and is en route to Oslo.

Norwegian authorities have not provided immediate comments on Momika's asylum request.

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