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Turkiye condemns anti-Islamic acts in Sweden

Istanbul: Turkiye criticised an Islamophobic incident in Sweden on Monday, April 18, in which a far-right politician set fire to the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

“During the holy month of Ramadan, we once again criticise in the strongest possible terms the attacks and goading against Islam, Muslims, the holy book Quran and places of worship in several parts of the world,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

“The unpleasant attacks on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden have demonstrated that the lessons of the past have not been learned, that there is still reluctance to prevent Islamophobic and racist inflammatory acts, and that hate crimes are openly and overtly tolerated beneath the mask of freedom of expression,” it added.

It was emphasised that Turkiye would continue to fight the threat posed by Islamophobia and racism.

Ankara also urged other nations and international organisations to fight Islamophobia and racism by taking the appropriate measures.

Ibrahim Kalin, the presidential spokesman for Turkiye, also condemned the Islamophobic assault in Sweden.

“I denounce the bigotry that goes so far as to burn the holy book Quran in Sweden and the psyche that feeds it,” Kalin posted on Twitter.

According to media reports, Rasmus Paludan, the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party’s leader, burnt a copy of the Muslim holy book in southern Linkoping on Thursday.

He also threatened to set fire to the copies of the Quran during extremist rallies.

The Swedish daily Expressen reported that protests have continued in parts of the country following the provocation.

As per the sources, three individuals were wounded on Sunday in Norrkoping, Sweden’s eastern city, after police allegedly opened fire on rioters amidst the protests against the burning of the Holy Quran.

The Norrkoping police department said in a statement that officers fired in the air to stop protestors from attacking policemen. Those who appeared to have been shot by ricocheting bullets are being treated at a hospital.

Riots erupted in the Swedish cities of Malmo, Norrkoping, and Jonkoping, as well as the capital Stockholm, resulting in the destruction of 125 police cars and the injuries of 34 policemen, as well as the arrest of 13 persons.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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