Protester abandons plan to burn holy books in Stockholm
A Swedish resident of Syrian origin, who recently sparked intense condemnation for his plans to burn pages of the Torah and the Bible outside the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, is not going to go ahead with his controversial demonstration.
Swedish police on Friday said they had issued permits for a Saturday protest which was to include the burning of the holy books. The decision swiftly drew criticism from several Israeli representatives and Jewish organisations, including Israel’s President Isaac Herzog.
Freedom Of Expression Indeed Has Some Limits
Ahmad A, the organiser of the demonstration, explained his intention was not to burn the sacred books but to denounce those who have burnt the holy Qur’an in the Nordic country in recent months. He said he wanted to show freedom of expression indeed has some limits.
The protester called on people to respect each other, highlighting the burning of sacred books would only trigger a war in the country. Although the Swedish police say permits to protest are not a formal authorisation to burn religious texts, there is no law in the country prohibiting the act.
But the police can refuse to allow a public gathering if it threatens security or gives rise to acts or words that incite racial hatred. Certain past incidents in Sweden have triggered a series of condemnations in the Muslim world.
Muslim Countries Annoyed Over Multiple Qur’an Burning Acts
Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Qur’an in January this year to denounce Sweden’s NATO application and the negotiations with Turkey to allow the Nordic nation to join the Western military alliance.
Last month, an Iraqi refugee in Sweden burnt the holy book in front of the capital’s largest mosque during the festival of Eid Al-Adha. The incident drew intense fury from Muslim countries, with many of them summoning the Swedish ambassadors.