Swedish Mosque Calls for Ban on Burning Holy Books Following Qur’an Protests

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 14: Rasmus Paludan burns a Koran during an election meeting in Hus
Jonas Gratzer/Getty Images

The head of a mosque in the Swedish city of Gothenburg has called for a law to ban the destruction of holy books and texts in the aftermath of the burnings of the Islamic Qur’an.

Faraj Semmo, CEO of the Gothenburg Mosque, which sees around 2,500 visitors a week, supports a ban on burning holy books and texts, claiming that the demonstrations create hatred against Muslims.

“It’s perceived to be an act of hate, many people feel threatened,” Semmo told broadcaster SVT, noting the burning of the Qur’an had sparked strong reactions among those attending the mosque.

Semmo said that those looking to oppose Qur’an burnings should do so in a peaceful manner, saying: “We always talk in our sermons that we are part of Sweden, we are Swedish Muslims living in Sweden and we resort to the legal means that exist, we use our right to vote. Rather, write an opinion piece or write to the politicians.”

Muslims in Sweden have called on the government to ban the burning of Qur’ans for years, with 15 Muslim congregations in Stockholm demanding it be outlawed in 2020 alongside a ban on mocking religious faiths.

“We do not want it to be legal in Sweden to burn holy scriptures such as the Qur’an, the Bible, and the Jewish scriptures and at the same time for it to be forbidden to mock the different religions,” Hussein Farah Warsame, imam of the mosque in the notorious no-go suburb of Rinkeby, said.

Last year, a petition to ban Qur’an burning in Sweden saw over 34,000 people extend their support for the idea. This followed last year’s Easter riots which resulted from anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan and his group Stram Kurs (Hard Line) burning copies of the book in several cities.

Paludan and members of his group have been behind nearly all of the Qur’an burnings in Sweden in recent years, including last month’s burning in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

Muslim groups are not the only ones calling for Sweden to ban Qur’an burnings: Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not only called for the country to enact such laws but stated that he will not approve of Sweden joining the NATO alliance while it is still legal to burn the Islamic holy book.

“As long as you allow my holy book, the Qur’an, to be burned and torn apart, we will not say yes to your entry into NATO. Our view of Finland is positive, but not of Sweden,” Erdogan vowed, in reference to the fact that the Finnish authorities had blocked a planned Qur’an burning after Turkish pressure.

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



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