Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – Somalia has strongly condemned the actions of the Swedish authorities for allowing an extremist to burn a copy of the Holy Quran in front of the Embassy of Turkey in Stockholm on January 21.
Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right political party Hard Line carried out the Quran burning. Paludan, who holds dual citizenship with Sweden, has conducted several prior demonstrations in which he burned copies of the Quran.
The burning of the Quran took place during a demonstration to protest Sweden’s bid to join NATO and to show support for Kurds.
A statement released on Monday reads, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation strongly condemns the Swedish authorities’ allowing an extremist to burn a copy of the Holy Qur’an in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye in Stockholm on Saturday (January 21), which represents a blatant violation of religious sanctities and a provocation to the feelings of Muslims all over the world.”
The Somali government stated that this act represents a violation of religious sanctity and is a provocation to the feelings of Muslims all over the world.
The statement continues, “Allowing this hateful act that insults Islamic sanctities and values is completely unacceptable. It is a demagogic practice that promotes hatred and racism and serves the agendas of extremism and terrorism.”
The Somali government calls for spreading the values of dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence and rejecting hate speech and violence.
The statement adds, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation renews the importance of respecting religious symbols and refraining from provoking hatred and fueling strife through abuse and distortion of religions, sanctities, and Islamic rituals.”
Somalia has called on Sweden to take strong measures against the rising tide of hatred against Muslims. It urges all actors in the international community to shoulder their responsibilities in curbing Islamophobia.
The Muslim world has erupted in anger and alarm over the incident. Turkey, Pakistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Iran have all condemned the actions.
Turkey said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden today (January 21), despite our repeated warnings earlier.” Pakistan added, “This senseless and provocative Islamophobic act hurts the religious sensitivities of over 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.”
Kuwait’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah, called on the international community “to shoulder responsibility by stopping such unacceptable acts and denouncing all forms of hatred and extremism and bringing the perpetrators to accountability.”
Saudi Arabia stated, “Saudi Arabia calls for spreading the values of dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence, and rejects hatred and extremism.” The United Arab Emirates said it was against “all practices aimed at destabilizing security and stability in contravention of human and moral values and principles.”
Qatar condemned the Swedish authorities’ permission to burn the Holy Quran. It called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities to reject hatred and violence.