Quran Burning 'Tour' Shows Rising Swedish Far Right

Published April 25th, 2022 - 07:12 GMT
Quran Burning 'Tour' Shows Rising Swedish Far Right
An Iranian woman lifts a Koran as she takes part in a student rally in front of the embassy of Sweden in Tehran, on April 18, 2022, to protest a Swedish far-right group's plan to burn Korans. Several days of unrest in Sweden have injured several dozen people, police said, sparked by the leader of the anti-immigration and anti-Islam group Hard Line, the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan who is aiming to drum up support ahead of September elections. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)

Sweden, a country thought to be a safe haven for refugees, was set aflame when riots erupted last week, after the anti-Muslim Danish-Swedish politician, Rasmus Paludan, announced his burning "tour" of the Quran during the holy month of Ramadan.

Over 40 people have been arrested and some injured when protesters took to the streets against Swedish authorities' decision to allow the far-right group's plans to burn the copies of the Muslim holy book.

Azra Muranovic, deputy chair of the Municipal Council of Vernamo and Social Democratic Party politician, said the Quran burning was a planned campaign.

"I think that the burning of the Quran was not an accident. Rather, a planned and distasteful campaign to provoke riots by using freedom of speech. I'm very sorry that he succeeded."

Now it seems that Swedish tolerance and freedom of speech are being put on a test as the burning of the Quran has pushed the country's limits to free speech.

Muranovic believes freedom of speech in the case of the Quran burning incident might be a problem.

"I think that the question is tricky because freedom of speech gives you freedom to state your thoughts regardless of how distasteful it is.

"After the burning of the Quran and the violence that followed, the police have raised the question to the court again: 'Is this specific matter hate speech or freedom of speech?'" she added, noting that they saw the incident as "hate speech."


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