UN and EU Condemn Burning of Quran as Offensive and Disrespectful

Photo: Christian Lue

Desecrating the Holy Quran under the protection of the Swedish authorities was condemned by the European Union and the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

On the first day of Eid ul Adha, Iraqi citizen Salwan Momika, 37, set several pages of the holy book alight in front of the largest mosque in the capital.

Authorities later announced they had opened an investigation over “agitation” after granting him an official permit based on free speech protections.

The Swedish government strongly condemned Saturday the “Islamophobic act committed by individuals in the country” after the desecration of a copy of the Holy Quran.

It said in a statement: “The Swedish government does not endorse this act.”

After the burning of a Quran in Sweden, EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Nabila Massrali expressed her strong opposition to the act.

As a spokesperson for the EU, he said, “This act is not representative of its views.”

As Muslims protested across several nations, Massrali said burning the Quran or any other holy book is offensive, disrespectful, and a clear act of provocation.

There is no place in Europe for manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and related intolerance, according to the spokesperson.

Such an act is even more deplorable since it was carried out on Eid [u]l Adha, one of the most important Muslim holidays.

The European Union continues to defend freedom of religion, belief, and expression, both abroad and at home, Massrali said.

In the wake of strong protests in Iraq, she said “now is the time to stand together for mutual understanding and respect.”

‘Disrespectful to Muslims’

According to UNAOC officials, burning Quranic pages is a “vile act.”.

A UNAOC official said this “vile act” disrespects Muslims in a statement.

A fundamental human right, freedom of expression, was emphasized by Moratinos.

The desecration of religious symbols and sacred books is unacceptable and can incite violence, he stated at the same time.

Furthermore, he emphasized that mutual respect is crucial to building and promoting just, inclusive, and peaceful societies rooted in human dignity.

In this context, the high representative recalled the United Nations Plan of Action to safeguard religious sites, which is based on an overarching framework and a set of recommendations, including strengthening religious pluralism and promoting human dignity and mutual respect.

Meeting of the OIC in an emergency

A press release issued by the General Secretariat on Thursday condemned these despicable attacks and attempts to violate the sanctity of the Holy Quran.

In accordance with the United Nations Charter, all nations have pledged to promote, encourage, respect, and observe human rights and fundamental freedoms universally and without distinction of any kind, whether by race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or any other factor.

Additionally, the OIC will convene an emergency executive meeting next week to discuss the Swedish burning of the Holy Quran.

During the meeting in Jeddah, the measures to take against the heinous act will be discussed and a collective position on what should be done will be adopted.

A copy of the Holy Quran being burned was strongly condemned by the Muslim World League (MWL).

Sheikh Dr Mohammed Bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League and chair of the Organization of Muslim Scholars, denounced this absurd and heinous crime, which was perpetrated under the protection of the police and under the claim that freedom of speech was being practiced.

This heinous act, according to the MWL chief, violates many things, including the idea of freedom, which demands respect and avoids provoking others.

A strong condemnation of the act has been expressed by the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Riyadh.

According to a statement, the KAICIID regrets that the people who committed this heinous act were supported in their freedom of expression.

Regarding human rights, as recognized by international law and UN conventions, the document reiterated that respecting others’ beliefs and sanctities is paramount.

‘Despicable act’

Pakistan had earlier this week strongly condemned the “despicable act” of the public burning of a copy of the Holy Quran.

“Such wilful incitement to discrimination, hatred and violence cannot be justified under the pretext of freedom of expression and protest,” a statement issued by the Foreign Office in condemnation of the abhorrent incident read.

The FO stated that international law binds all theIt said that the concerns regarding the matter were being raised with the government of Sweden.

It also urged the international community and the national governments to undertake credible and concrete measures to prevent the rising incidents of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

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