'Despicable act': Pakistan condemns desecration of Holy Quran in Sweden

Web Desk
Security guards stand outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad in this undated image. — AFP/File
Security guards stand outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad in this undated image. — AFP/File

  • Burning of Holy Quran in Sweden comes on occasion of Eid ul Adha.
  • FO says international law binds nations to prohibit "religious hatred".
  • Pakistan raising concerns regarding the matter with Sweden.

Pakistan strongly condemned the "despicable act" of the public burning of a copy of the Holy Quran in Sweden on the occasion of Eid ul Adha, in another incident of desecration of the sacred book.

"Such wilful incitement to discrimination, hatred and violence cannot be justified under the pretext of freedom of expression and protest," a statement issued by the Foreign Office in condemnation of the abhorrent incident read.

The FO stated that international law binds all the states to prevent and prohibit any advocacy of "religious hatred" that leads to incitement of violence.

"The recurrence of such Islamophobic incidents during the last few months in the West calls into serious question the legal framework which permits such hate-driven actions."

The FO, on Pakistan's behalf, reiterated that the right to freedom of expression and opinion does not provide a license to stoke hatred and sabotage inter-faith harmony.

It said that the concerns regarding the matter were being raised with the government of Sweden.

It also urged the international community and the national governments to undertake credible and concrete measures to prevent the rising incidents of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

A man tore up and burned a copy of the Holy Quran outside Stockholm's central mosque on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Police later charged the man with agitation against an ethnic or national group.

A series of demonstrations in Sweden against Islam have offended the Muslim world, including Turkey, whose foreign minister said it was unacceptable to allow anti-Islam protests in the name of freedom of expression.

"I condemn the vile protest in Sweden against our holy book on the first day of the blessed Eid al-Adha," Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan tweeted.

Similar incidents have recently surfaced in the Netherlands as well, which have been strongly condemned by the Muslim world.