Muslims Who Rioted After Qur’an Burning Get Soft Sentences

Demonstrators burn tyres during clashes with police in the Rosengard neighbourhood of Malmo, Sweden, on August 28, 2020. - The protest was sparked by the burning of a coran by members of Danish far-right party Stram Kurs during an anti-Muslim rally in Malmo earlier in the day. The party's leader …
-/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images

A 31-year-old man and six teens were given light sentences for participating in a riot in the multicultural Swedish city of Malmö earlier this year after anti-Islam activists burned a copy of the Qur’an.

The 31-year-old was merely sentenced to probation by the court, while the six teenagers were given youth service for taking part in the August 28th riot and throwing rocks at police officers.

The judge in the case, Fredrik Forsman, said in the courtroom that “Many of the police officers that we have heard have said that this is by far the most serious thing that they have experienced, and some of them have served in Afghanistan,” broadcaster SVT reports.

Forsman added that those on trial were given light sentences anyway because they had not been “distinctively active” during the rioting.

The 31-year-old man admitted that he had thrown stones at police during the riot but claimed he never meant to do so, and took a taxi to the riot to film the incident to increase his social media following.

The rioting took place after Danish anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan and his group Stram Kurs (Hard Line) burned a copy of the Qur’an in the notorious no-go zone of Rosengård and posted a video of the burning online.

The riot was not the first sparked by Paludan and his supporters. In 2019, Copenhagen erupted into violence in April after Paludan tossed a copy of the Qur’an around in the air.

A total of 23 people were arrested in connection with the rioting, including one person who attempted to physically attack Paludan himself.

Since the Malmö riot, Paludan has remained active and promised to burn more copies of the Qur’an despite being banned from entering Sweden. Plaudan claimed that he had Swedish citizenship and could not be banned from entering the country.

In November he attempted to burn a Qur’an in the French capital of Paris, but was quickly arrested outside the Arc de Triomphe before he could burn the Islamic book and deported. He had previously been banned from entering France.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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