Pakistan strongly condemns desecration of Quran in Sweden and Norway

31 Aug 2020

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"The rise of such Islamophobic occurrences goes against the spirit of any religion. Freedom of speech can’t justify religious hatred," the statement from the FO spokesperson said. — DawnNewsTV/File
"The rise of such Islamophobic occurrences goes against the spirit of any religion. Freedom of speech can’t justify religious hatred," the statement from the FO spokesperson said. — DawnNewsTV/File

The Foreign Office on Sunday strongly condemned recent incidents in Sweden and Norway in which copies of the Holy Quran were reportedly burnt, saying that "freedom of speech can't justify religious hatred".

In a statement issued on Twitter, FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri further said:

"The rise of such Islamophobic occurrences goes against the spirit of any religion."

"Ensuring respect for religious beliefs of others is a collective responsibility and is absolutely critical for global peace and prosperity," Chaudhri added.

A day earlier, a riot broke out in the southern Swedish town of Malmo, where at least 300 people had gathered to protest against anti-Islam activities, police said.

Protesters were throwing objects at police officers and car tyres had been set on fire, a police spokesman said. Earlier in the day, a copy of the Quran had been burned in Malmo by right-wing extremists.

The demonstrations had escalated in the same place where the Quran had been burned, the spokesman added.

Daily Aftonbladet said several anti-Islam activities had taken place in Malmo on Friday, including three men kicking a copy of the Quran between them in a public square.

Meanwhile, at an anti-Islam protest on Saturday in Oslo, Sweden — held by the far-right group Stop the Islamisation of Norway (SION) — a protester tore out pages of the Quran and spat on them, Anadolu Agency reported.