Sweden’s major faith groups denounce Quran burning, hate speech



Police officers surround far-right politician Rasmus Paludan (C), Stockholm, Sweden, Jan. 27, 2023. (AFP Photo)

Police officers surround far-right politician Rasmus Paludan (C), Stockholm, Sweden, Jan. 27, 2023. (AFP Photo)


Islamic Center in Malmo, the mosque and the school located in Malmo, Sweden, July 22, 2017. (Shutterstock File Photo)

Sweden’s ban on religious schools slammed for targeting Muslims


Members of major religious groups in Sweden have condemned the burning of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, by Danish far-right Stram Kurs leader Rasmus Paludan under police protection.

They have also expressed support for Muslims, as the incident deeply hurt the feelings of the global Muslim community of nearly 2 billion people.

The coordinator of the Catholic Commission for Interreligious Dialog in Sweden, Kaj Engelhart, said while he recognizes that the actions of Stram Kurs may be considered lawful, there is also a need to discuss whether the law should be changed since many considered it a hate crime.

“As Catholics, we are absolutely against such actions,” Engelhart said. “In our faith, it is not allowed to offend people of other religions. Seeing this incident gave me a very bad taste.”

The Jewish community also spoke out against the Islamophobic action, with the official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities and the AMANAH Muslim-Jewish Partnership Trust issuing a statement.

They referred to the book burnings in Nazi Germany and warned that such acts often indicate the beginning of the normalization of hatred toward a group.

“Historically against Jews, now against Muslims,” the statement said, adding that racists and extremists may once again “abuse democracy and freedom of expression to normalize hatred against one of Sweden’s religious minorities by burning the Quran.”

The statement also expressed mutual concern over the increasing attacks on Jews and Muslims in Sweden and emphasized that “in a democratic society, every individual has the right to feel safe and valued.”

The Chairman of the Swedish Islamic Federation, Tahir Akan, said that Muslims were unable to make their voices heard and that their concerns were being overlooked. He called for the community to unite and advance its fight against anti-Muslim prejudice academically and legally.

Commenting on a U.N. report that said there is systematic racism in Sweden, Akan said: “The group that suffers most from this general trend is the Muslim community. Especially in matters of employment and other everyday matters, Muslims, unfortunately, experience racism.”

“Unfortunately, we see that our politicians are far from recognizing this problem. What we could do is to educate and train our youth to bring a change for all humanity,” he added.

source https://www.dailysabah.com/world/islamophobia/swedens-major-faith-groups-denounce-quran-burning-hate-speech

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