Sweden grants permission to burn the KORAN outside Turkish embassy – as Erdogan continues to block country’s NATO bid


A convicted far-right leader, known in Denmark for burning the Koran, has received permission from Swedish police to burn a copy of the Muslim holy book outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm. Rasmus Paludan, 41, has a permit to burn the book in front of the building on Saturday 21 January, to coincide with two related demonstrations planned in protest of Turkey. Danish-Swedish Paludan said he wants to ‘mark some freedom of speech’ after the hanging of an effigy of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan near the Stockholm city hall provoked a strong response in Turkey, which Sweden has also condemned. Riots erupted in Malmö in April last year after Paludan visited Sweden ahead of an election, intending to burn the Koran to drum up support for his movement, and previously in August 2020 when activists burned the Koran after Paludan was arrested.

  • Far-right leader Rasmus Paludan has received permission to burn the Koran
  • Plans to burn the Muslim holy book last year during a rally led to riots in Orebro
  • Permit comes amid conflict between Turkey and Sweden over NATO ascension

A convicted far-right leader in Sweden has received permission to burn a copy of the Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm – as the country battles to convince President Erdogan to let it join NATO.

Rasmus Paludan, 41, has a permit to burn the book in front of the building on Saturday 21 January, to coincide with two related demonstrations planned in protest of Turkey.

Danish-Swedish Paludan said he wants to ‘mark some freedom of speech’ after the hanging of an effigy of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan near the Stockholm city hall provoked a strong response in Turkey. Sweden also condemned the stunt.

Riots erupted in Malmö in April last year after Paludan visited Sweden ahead of an election, intending to burn the Koran to drum up support for his movement, and previously in August 2020 when activists burned the Koran after Paludan was arrested.

An effigy of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan which provoked a strong response in Turkey
An effigy of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan which provoked a strong response in Turkey
Far-right activist Rasmus Paludan burns a Koran during an election meeting in May 2022
Far-right activist Rasmus Paludan burns a Koran during an election meeting in May 2022

The decision to allow the burning of the Koran comes amid strained relations between Sweden and Turkey, following the latter’s decision to push back on Swedish ascension to NATO.

Sweden and Finland have sought NATO membership since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but their bids must be approved by all 30 NATO member states.

The two Nordic countries still rely on votes from Turkey and Hungary, which Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has promised to deliver in 2023.

But Turkish officials said the effigy hanging by pro-Kurdish activists last week was contrary to an agreement made previously under which Sweden and Finland would crack down on Kurdish militants as both seek Turkish approval for NATO membership.

Sweden is home to a large number of Kurds, many of whom fled Turkish persecution in the late 1980s and subsequent crises in the Middle East.

Turkish foreign minister Melvut Cavusoglu said that Swedish inaction over the effigy was ‘absurd’ and that Sweden should not try to fool Turkey by calling the act ‘freedom of speech’.

In recent days, the country has increased the pressure on Sweden, demanding 130 so-called ‘terrorists’ be extradited to Turkey before the Turkish parliament will approve NATO bids.

The burning of the Koran to spite a Muslim-majority country is expected to provoke strong reactions in Turkey.

In April last year, 40 were wounded during riots in Sweden after a rally led by Paludan, which received permission to go ahead from police, saw clashes with counter-protestors.

Four police cars were set on fire and at least five were injured as protestors threw rocks and attacked police cordons.

Paludan led the rally in Sweden to gather support ahead of elections in September 2022, planning to burn the Koran during the holy month of Ramadan.

Read Full Article:

Sweden grants permission to burn the KORAN outside Turkish embassy as Erdgoan blocks NATO bid | Daily Mail Online


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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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