Fifteen Muslim congregations in Stockholm have demanded the government consider new laws to ban the burning of religious texts like the Quran and mocking faiths.
Hussein Farah Warsame, imam of the mosque in the notorious no-go suburb of Rinkeby, is one of the Muslim leaders to advocate for a ban on Quran burning.
He told Dagens Nyheter: “We do not want it to be legal in Sweden to burn holy scriptures such as the Quran, the Bible, and the Jewish scriptures and at the same time for it to be forbidden to mock the different religions.”
Imam Warsame also commented on the recent Quran burning by the Danish lawyer and anti-Islam campaigner Rasmus Paludan and his group Stram Kurs (Hard Line).
The faith leader said: “This Danish guy is here to provoke us and get attention, and we’re not going to give him what he wants.”
Swedish Police Hunt for Danes Who Burned Qur'an in No-Go Zone https://t.co/bDO3nINOBk
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Last week, an alleged member of Stram Kurs filmed himself setting fire to a copy of the Quran in central Rinkeby. Local police later stated that they were looking for the man in the video and opened an investigation into charges of inciting racial hatred.
Late last month, Stram Kurs supporters burned a Quran in the southern multicultural city of Malmö, which later sparked rioting and unrest with police being attacked and fires lit.
Yusuf Abdalla, a restaurant owner in Rinkeby, told Dagens Nyheter that he and others had no idea that it was legal to burn a copy of the Quran.
“We thought it was illegal in Sweden to burn the Quran and other religious writings. Ninety per cent of people who live here believe that,” he said.
While Sweden, along with many other western countries, has no official blasphemy laws, those who have burned Qurans could face incitement to hatred laws.
Hate crime investigations, particularly online hate crimes, surged in recent years in Sweden, largely due to the social justice groups like Näthatsgranskaren which has identified hate posts on social media and reported them to police en-masse.