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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sweden working to ensure disrespect of Quran not repeated: Foreign minister

Attacks on Muslim holy book are 'despicable,' says Tobias Billstrom

Sweden’s foreign minister said Tuesday that his government is trying to change the law to prevent future attacks on the Quran, describing them as “despicable.”

Tobias Billstrom spoke by phone with his Algerian counterpart Ahmed Attaf, according to Algeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Read more: Sweden in diplomatic storm as relations with Muslim world strained

During their conversation, Billstrom pointed to constitutional restrictions that limit the ability of his government to prevent such behavior while expressing deep regret over such actions.

“We are working to ensure that the disrespect towards the Quran is not repeated,” he said.

Billstrom also briefed Attaf on an initiative taken by the Swedish Ministry of Justice to evaluate the possibility of adopting a law on maintaining public order to address such unacceptable behavior.

Read more: Second Quran desecration incident in Sweden sparks outrage and diplomatic tensions

Last week, Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi refugee living in Sweden, stomped on and kicked the Quran, just weeks after setting fire to pages of the Muslim holy book outside a Stockholm mosque.

In January, Rasmus Paludan, a far-right Danish leader, burned a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. The incident sparked outrage and condemnation across the Islamic world.

Following these incidents, anti-Sweden protests took place in several cities in Lebanon. Sweden’s ambassador to the country, Ann Dismorr, reportedly left the country for a planned vacation.