- Sputnik International, 1920
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Ex-Swedish PM Calls for Contacts With Muslim Countries Amid Quran Burning Protests

© AP Photo / Rajesh Kumar SinghIndian Muslims read the holy Quran at a mosque in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Indian Muslims  read the holy Quran at a mosque in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh state, India, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.01.2023
Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish politician, has promised to burn copies of the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm "every Friday" until Sweden is given permission to join NATO.
Former Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has called for maintaining close contacts with Muslim countries, which have condemned the burning of the Quran in Stockholm.
Andersson went on to say that her successor, Ulf Kristersson, had emphasized the need to keep in touch with Turkey, but, according to her, it's also important to explain to Muslim countries how the Swedish law works and why it works the way it does.
The former Swedish prime minister made the comments as protests are being held across the Middle East and Asia against the desecration of the Islamic holy book by Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan.
Afghans shout slogans as they burn a flag of Sweden during a protest against the burning of the Koran by Swedish-Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan, after Friday prayers in Jalalabad on January 27, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.01.2023
Protests Across Middle East and Asia Against Danish Quran Burning
Paludan, who is the leader of the right-wing Danish political party Stram Kurs, has repeatedly burned copies of the Quran in Sweden, with his latest acts taking place in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. While he received a relevant permission from the authorities, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has condemned the burning of the Quran as a "disrespectful" act. He, however, admitted that it did not violate the country's law.
Turkey, for its part, has blasted the act as a "vile attack" on the holy book and "another example of the alarming level that Islamophobia and racist and discriminatory movements have reached in Europe." In response to the act, Ankara broke off negotiations on Sweden and Finland's accession to NATO, calling them "meaningless." It also canceled Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson’s planned trip to Turkey in the wake of the incident.
Nonetheless, Paludan has pledged to repeat his stunt every Friday until Turkey agrees to accept Sweden into NATO.
Over the past few weeks, relations between Turkey and Sweden have drastically deteriorated. Aside from the Quran burning, Kurdish activists in Sweden hanged an effigy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Stockholm, while a Swedish newspaper held a cartoon contest mocking the Turkish leader.
A Lebanese woman displaced from a border village in the south of the country holds a copy of the Quran at a hotel in the port city of Tyre, July 22, 2006. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.01.2023
Paludan Burns Quran in Copenhagen as Turkey Summons Danish Envoy
Sweden, along with Finland, applied to join NATO in May 2022 following the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, marking a major shift away from Stockholm's longstanding position of neutrality. However, Turkey has objected to their membership, accusing the Nordic states of harboring Kurdish "terrorists."
Ankara refused to greenlight their accession until both countries meet its demands, including extraditing a number of Kurds, who, Turkey claims, belong to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it views as a terrorist group. For its part, Stockholm has stressed that Turkey is demanding concessions that it cannot give, with Kristersson insisting that his country has done all it can to alleviate Ankara’s concerns.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала