Turkey condemns the reported burning of a Quran in Sweden
Turkey has condemned the reported ban of a Quran in Sweden, referring to it as an anti-Islamic act.
Referring to the act of burning the holy book as an outright hate crime, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reasoned the deed targeted Muslims and insulted its sacred values.
Turkey added that Sweden burnt the Quran under the guise of ‘freedom of expression,’ and urged Swedish authorities to take necessary measures against the perpetrators of this hate crime.
“This despicable act is yet another example of the alarming level of Islamophobia and racist and discriminatory movements that have reached Europe. We invite all countries as well as international organizations to take concrete steps in solidarity against Islamophobia,” read part of the statement.
The altercation between the two countries began when Turkey announced on Saturday it had canceled a visit from a Sweden official after an anti-Turkish protest was allowed in Stockholm.
Hulusi Akar, the Turkish Defence Minister said the talks with his Swedish counterpart Pål Jonson were called off as they had “lost significance and meaning,” despite the visit’s intention being to try and remove Ankara’s objections to Sweden’s NATO bid.
Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist, Rasmus Paludan, was then permitted to hold a demonstration on Saturday in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, where he said he intended to “burn the Quran” arousing anger among Turkey citizens.
Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billström condemned hatred towards Muslims but emphasized there were certain freedoms in his country.
“Islamophobic provocations are appalling,” he tweeted. “Sweden has a far-reaching freedom of expression, but it does not imply that the Swedish Government, or myself, support the opinions expressed.”
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