Muslim countries across the world lashed out at Denmark this Monday after two Danish nationals decided to burn the holy Quran outside the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen and film it.
Iraq and many other Muslim-majority countries across the world strongly rebuked the burning of holy Quran on this Monday outside the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen by two Danish men who are believed to be members of a far-right extremist group known as the “Danish Patriots”. As the videos of the incident show, the Quran burning was happening next to an Iraqi flag on the ground.
Rebuking the Quran burning as an act that spreads “the virus of extremism and hate” and poses “a real threat to the peaceful coexistence of societies,” Iraq’s foreign ministry issued a statement shortly after the incident and called on the European Union to “quickly reconsider so-called freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate”, according to the Iraqi state news agency. For their part, more than 1,000 Iraqi demonstrators in Baghdad tried to reach the Danish embassy to protest against the move.
Muslims across the world, whose population reaches to nearly 2 billion people, consider the Quran to be the word of God and view any intentional damage or show of disrespect towards it as deeply offensive.
Other Muslim-majority countries also reacted to the Quran burning in the Danish capital. In Yemen, for example, the move triggered a rally by thousands of protesters in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, who voiced anger at Denmark for allowing such acts. Turkey also reacted and called the incident a “despicable attack” on the Quran. Likewise, the Algerian foreign ministry summoned the Danish ambassador and Swedish charge d’affaires to condemn the acts.
The government in Iran also lashed out at Denmark, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoning the Danish ambassador to express discontent. All these protests and condemnations worked quite well as they finally made Denmark to apologize. In a tweet, Denmark’s foreign ministry said: “Denmark condemns today’s burning of the Quran carried out by very few individuals. “These provocative and shameful acts do not represent the views of the Danish government. Appeal to all to deescalate – violence must never be the response.”
Sweden also tasted the anger of Muslim world
The same move was done by a 37-year-old Christian Iraqi refugee in Sweden, Salwan Momika, who burned pages of the Quran on the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha outside the Stockholm Central Mosque. In reaction, people in Iraq set fire to Sweden’s embassy in Baghdad last week, forcing Swedish authorities to evacuate their embassy staff from Iraq to Stockholm.
Protesters in Baghdad scaled the Swedish embassy’s walls, set fires within its compound and clashed with riot police. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani then released a statement asking Iraq’s Swedish ambassador to leave the country.
Other Muslim countries also condemned the move. Iran, for example, announced last week that it wouldn’t send a new ambassador to Sweden to show its discontent with burning Quran in Stockholm. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in this regard that despite appointing a new ambassador, Tehran would not be sending them. “The process of dispatching them has been held off due to the Swedish government’s issuing of a permit to desecrate the Holy Koran”, he said in a statement on Twitter.
Likewise, the Cabinet of Saudi Arabia issued a statement and described the Swedish acts as “disgraceful actions, which are a flagrant violation of all laws and customs, and contravene international efforts to spread tolerance and moderation, and reject hatred”. Turkey, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates also followed suit and protested to Sweden for allowing the Quran to be desecrated.