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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Police block Pakistani man from preventing Quran burning in Stockholm

'Swedish politicians need to stop acts of Quran burning,' says Malik Shahza

Deeply moved by the Quran burning in Sweden, Pakistani national Malik Shahza has called for an end to such recurrent acts of desecration of Islam’s holy book in the European country recently.

Shahza, a cardiac patient who has undergone bypass surgery, expressed his distress as he witnessed the holy book being set on fire by Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee based in Sweden, in front of the Pakistani Embassy in Stockholm.

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Shahza, standing behind a security cordon, shouted out to Momika, desperately urging him to reconsider his actions.

“Please don’t burn the Quran; what you’re doing is not a good thing. I don’t feel well; I can’t sleep. I’m a person who has had a bypass surgery. Why are you continuing to burn the Quran? Why are you coming all the way to the Pakistani Embassy, which I consider my home, and burning the Quran? I am sick, I can’t sleep, Please put an end to this. Why are the police allowing this?” Shahza bemoaned.

Police intervened quickly and silenced Shahza, escorting him away from the area for a brief detention.

After he was released, Shahza spoke to Anadolu about the deep impact these Quran-burning incidents had on his health and his plea for action.

Shahza, who tried to prevent the Quran burning with tears welling up in his eyes, said that these attacks had robbed him of his sleep.

“I asked Momika why he burned the Quran. I told him it’s not a good thing, and I asked him to stop burning the Quran. Swedish politicians need to stop acts of Quran burning. Reactions are coming from all over the world, and this is not good for Sweden,” he said.

The incident unfolded as Momika, who later left the scene in an armored police vehicle, was accompanied by a large police presence.

Approximately 20 police vehicles, including 10 armored ones, and about 100 police officers were deployed to control the situation.

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The incident has ignited a debate about religious tolerance and freedom of expression in Sweden, prompting calls for a deeper understanding of religious sensitivities and a reconsideration of the balance between free speech and respect for religious beliefs.

Islamophobic figures and groups in Northern Europe in recent months have repeatedly carried out Quran burnings and similar attempts to desecrate the Muslim holy book, drawing outrage from Muslim countries and the world.