The recent burning of a copy of The Quran in Sweden has sparked outrage in the Arab and Muslim world. Numerous countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have expressed their rejection of this serious incident that took place in front of a mosque in Stockholm during Eid al-Adha, one of the most important religious festivals in Islam.
In response to this act, authorised by the Swedish authorities, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has joined the widespread condemnation by the Arab world and has recalled its ambassador in Stockholm, Karim Medrek, for consultations "indefinitely".
🔴Burning of the Holy Quran: On the very High Instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, the Chargé d'Affaires of Sweden in Rabat was summoned, and the Ambassador of HM the King to Sweden was recalled for consultations.— Moroccan Diplomacy 🇲🇦 (@Marocdiplo_EN) June 29, 2023
The Moroccan ministry has also summoned the Swedish chargé d'affaires in Rabat to express its "strongest condemnation of this crime" and its "rejection of this unacceptable act".
"This new offensive and irresponsible act ignores the feelings of more than a billion Muslims during this holy period of the great pilgrimage to Mecca and the blessed feast of Eid Al-Adha," a ministry statement said.
This is the second time a Quran has been publicly burned in Sweden so far this year. In January, Danish-Swedish right-winger Rasmus Paludan burned the holy book in front of the Turkish embassy, stoking tensions between Ankara and Istanbul. This time, the burning of the Quran was carried out by Salwan Momika, 37, of Iraqi origin. According to Momika, his intention was to "criticise Islam". For Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, this action is "legal, but not appropriate". Kristersson declined to comment further on the incident, which he described as a "provocation".
"Regardless of the political positions or differences that may exist between countries, the Kingdom considers it unacceptable that the faith of Muslims should be disrespected in this way," the Moroccan ministry's note adds. "Neither the principles of tolerance nor the values of universalism can be reduced to accommodating the views of a few while showing so little regard for the beliefs of more than a billion Muslims," it concludes.
Iraqis storm Swedish Embassy in Baghdad
In addition to institutional condemnations, the burning of the The Quran has also provoked demonstrations in Baghdad, where dozens of Iraqis stormed the Swedish embassy on the orders of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who also called for the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador, the suspension of relations with Stockholm and the withdrawal of Salwan Momika's citizenship.
The Swedish embassy in Baghdad was breached by Iraqi demonstrators who had stormed the premises, in response to the desecration of the Quran. On Wednesday, an Iraqi living in Sweden burned the Quran, sparking outrage. pic.twitter.com/5dHHnSiPfv— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) June 29, 2023
Videos of Iraqi citizens scaling the walls of the embassy have circulated on social media, as well as images with posters showing rejection of the LGTBI community.
Iraqi demonstrators storming the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, in protest against the burning of a the Holy Quran in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. pic.twitter.com/ZLukEtpJJv— Clash Report (@clashreport) June 29, 2023
Swedish authorities have confirmed to CNN that the embassy staff "are safe" and that the Foreign Ministry is in "regular contact with them".