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Quran burning in Stockholm sparks protests in Istanbul, sours Sweden-Turkey ties | 5 points

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A far-right leader burned a copy of the Quran in Stockholm last week. The incident has sparked protests in Turkey.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Jan 24, 2023 20:37 IST

Quran burning protest

Protesters gather in front of the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul on January 22. (AFP photo)

By India Today Web Desk: Last week, Rasmus Paludan, leader of Danish far-right political party Hard Line, staged a protest outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. During the demonstration, Paludan burned a copy of the Quran. The incident in Stockholm has set in motion a series of protests in Turkey.

The Quran-burning incident in Stockholm has also prompted Turkey to speak on Sweden’s NATO membership.

Here’s all that has happened:

  • Rasmus Paludan had burned a copy of the Quran during a protest on January 21 outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. The protest on Saturday was approved by the Swedish police despite Turkey’s objections.

  • The burning of the holy book sparked protests in Turkey with demonstrators gathering outside Swedish Consulate in Istanbul. Protesters set Paludan’s photo on fire.

    A woman holds a Quran during a protest outside the Swedish consulate in Istanbul. (AP photo)

    They carried green flags featuring the Islamic proclamation of faith and banner that said “We condemn Sweden’s state-supported Islamophobia.”

    Protesters hold copies of the Quran in front of the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul. (AFP photo)
  • While Swedish leaders condemned the Quran-burning incident, they also defended their country’s broad definition of free speech.

    Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson tweeted late Saturday that freedom of expression was crucial to democracy but added that “what is legal is not necessarily appropriate.”

    “Burning books that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act. I want to express my sympathy for all Muslims who are offended by what has happened in Stockholm today,” Kristersson said.

  • The Quran-burning incident and the subsequent protests reflect the tension between the two nations. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden that it should not expect his backing to join NATO. Erdogan said the burning of the Quran was a “hate crime” that could not be defended by free speech.

  • Several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait, have denounced the Quran-burning incident in Stockholm.

(With inputs from AP, AFP)

Quearn – Do QnA

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