| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Iraq asks Sweden to hand over perpetrator who burnt copy of the Quran

Iraq will be taking several measures against the Iraqi refugee who burnt a copy of the Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm, including asking the Swedish authorities to hand him over for trial, the Iraqi Consul General in Jeddah, Mohammad al-Naqshbandi, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday.

On the first day of Eid al-Adha, an Iraqi refugee stomped on and burnt pages of the Islamic holy book outside a mosque in Stockholm . Swedish authorities authorized the protest under freedom of expression and assembly.

Naqshbandi, Iraq’s delegate to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), explained that the government had called for a high-level meeting.

He regretted the recurrence of such actions against the Holy Quran and even more that the person in question is of Iraqi origin this time.

“It pains us that this act took place on the first day of the Muslim Eid and in front of a mosque where the blessed Eid Al-Adha prayer was held”, he said.

Naqshbandi indicated that Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein took several steps, including contacting the UN Sec-Gen. in this regard.

Hussein received a phone call from his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom to discuss the incident.

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish Ambassador, Jessica Svardstrom, and notified her of Iraq’s strong protest over her government’s permission for an extremist to burn a copy of the Quran.

Naqshbandi explained that under Iraqi law, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Faeq Zaidan, took legal action against the Iraqi person who burned a copy of the Holy Quran and had not acquired Swedish citizenship yet.

Among the legal measures, Iraq demanded he be repatriated, under the article mentioned in the Iraqi constitution regarding insulting Islamic sanctities.

Asharq Al-Awsat asked the diplomat about the motives for this act, and Naqshbandi explained that some institutions or parties push for such actions.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held an extraordinary meeting of the open-ended Executive Committee to discuss measures and the repercussions of the incident. Naqshbandi described the final statement as solid and practical.

The OIC called for unified and collective measures to prevent the recurrence of acts of desecration of the Quran

  • Asharq Al-Awsat