Qur’an Burning: Sweden Closes Embassy in Turkey As Protests Spread Across Muslim World

A protester holds a Koran in front of the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul on Janua
YASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images

Sweden has closed its embassy in Turkey temporarily after protests spread across majority-Muslim countries in the wake of a Qur’an burning in Stockholm last weekend by a Danish anti-Islamisation activist.

Sweden closed its embassy in Ankara on Tuesday over protests following the burning of a copy of the Islamic Qur’an last weekend by the Danish anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan in Stockholm outside of the Turkish embassy.

The closure comes as several Muslim-majority countries have seen protests in the wake of the burning of the Qur’an, including in the Afghan city of Khost, where those attending the rally yelled “death to the Swedish government”, the newspaper Expressen reports.

Hundreds also protested in the Pakistani city of Lahore chatting that Sweden should be ashamed, while Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had previously commented on the incident saying, “The guise of freedom of expression cannot be used to hurt the religious sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, it is unacceptable.”

Swedish ambassador to Indonesia Marina Berg was also called upon by the Indonesian government following the Qur’an burning, with a Foreign Ministry spokesperson stating that a meeting was arranged for this week with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier this week, Rasmus Paludan claimed that it was not his idea to burn a copy of the Qur’an outside the embassy, claiming that the idea had either come from Chang Frick, the owner of the news website Nyheter Idag, or a writer for the website Exact24.

“It was their idea to burn the Qur’an outside the Turkish embassy,” Paludan, who has burned copies of the book, and thrown Qur’ans in the air in the past which led to extensive rioting in several Swedish cities, said and added, “I think it was a good reaction to Erdogan’s attempts to influence freedom of expression in Sweden.”

Chang Frick, meanwhile, claims the protest was meant to be directed at the Turkish government and not Muslims in general, saying, “I was very clear that what I support is a protest action against Turkey, not incitement against Muslims.”

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


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