Unrest in Sweden over Quran burnings, Iraq summons Sweden’s envoy

SwedenRiots have taken place in several Swedish cities for the fourth day in a row sparked by the alleged burning of a Quran by a far-right, anti-immigrant group.

As per the reports by local media, at least three people were wounded in the eastern city of Norrköping on Sunday, April 17, when policemen fired several warning shots at rioters. Many vehicles were set on fire by the mob, and police arrested at least 17 people for their violent behaviour.

The event involving the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book Quran by far-right extremists in Sweden has prompted Iraq’s Foreign Ministry to call Sweden’s charge d’affaires, Hakan Rooth.

According to media reports, on Thursday, Rasmus Paludan, the Danish leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) Party, burned a copy of the Holy Quran in southern Linkoping in Sweden.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it has raised a protest with the Swedish ambassador against the burning of the Muslim holy book.

According to the government, the fire “has terrible repercussions for Sweden’s ties with all Muslims.”

The statement urged the Swedish government to intervene to prevent acts that incite religious hatred.

Plans by a far-right group to publicly burn copies of the Quran sparked violent clashes with counter-demonstrators for the third day running in Sweden, police said on Sunday.

Trash bins, a bus and a car were all set on fire in a series of incidents in the southern city of Malmo overnight, as per the police statement which came on Sunday. 

“Towards 3 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT), the situation calmed down,” police spokesperson Kim Hild told SR public radio, adding that no policemen were injured, but a number of public members were mildly injured.

It is reported that nearly 20 companies have been filed till now, including for destruction. 

The year 2019 characterised itself extensively by cold and ruthless Islamophobic terrorist attacks in places such as New Zealand’s Christchurch, Germany, the U.K., France and Norway.

Mosques have been attacked across Europe, resulting in scores of deaths and injuries.

Some European governments are making strenuous efforts to neutralise far-right terrorist organisations. On the other hand, discriminatory comments, bills, and security practices aimed at Muslims contribute to the normalisation of Islamophobic conversations in Europe.

Not only people are responsible for this destruction, but also mainstream media and private institutions are also responsible for anti-Muslim feelings as they continuously spread disinformation that can harm the Muslim community.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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