A Muslim union in Norway has said they will be reporting an anti-Islam group for hate crimes after a Quran burning protest turned violent.
The protest, which was held by the group Stop Islamisation of Norway (SIAN), took place in Kristiansand and saw the leader of the group, Lars Thorsen, set fire to a copy of the Quran after throwing it into a nearby bin, NRK reports.
Counter-protesters then jumped barricades and fought with members of the SIAN. Police later arrested five counter-protesters for disturbing public order along with one who allegedly attacked police. A member of SIAN who did not comply with police orders was also arrested.
Akmal Ali, leader of the Muslim union in Agder, said that his organisation would be pursuing hate crime charges against SIAN.
Danish Anti-Islam Group Burn Quran in Front of Islamist Protesters https://t.co/DuInF4CkWM
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“Lars Thorsen achieved his goal. He deceived the police and set fire to the Quran. The fact that he did this has created a lot of frustration among both adults and youths,” said Omar Sadiq, head of the Muslim Youth Union of Agder.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also expressed outrage over the incident, putting out a press release stating: “We expect such actions to be prevented and those responsible to be brought to justice as soon as possible.”
The outrage over the incident comes only months after Danish anti-Islam party Stram Kurs burned a copy of the Islamic holy text in front of the parliament in Copenhagen, but only garnered what a journalist at the scene described as “modest reactions”.
Previous anti-Islamisation protests by the group had provoked much stronger reactions, including demonstrations that turned into riots a month after the Quran burning incident. Danish police arrested 23 rioters who reacted to Stram Kurs members throwing around a Quran to each other in April.