Swedish Christian Council condemns the burning of the Quran in Stockholm
The Swedish ecumenical body deplores the incident occurred on 28 June outside the Great Mosque of Stockholm and expresses solidarity with the Muslim community: "It is a deliberate violation of Muslim faith and identity and an attack on people of faith"
On June 28, as Muslims worldwide marked the Eid al-Adha celebration in memory of Abraham's Sacrifice, a 37-year-old man trampled on a copy of the Quran outside the Great Mosque of Stokholm before ripping out and burning several of its pages.
The desecration in the Swedish capital has caused violent reactions across the world and the Swedish Embassy was stormed in Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Salwan Sabahmetti Momika, an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen who had fled his country for Sweden, is now suspected of ethnic and racial hatred.
He told the Swedish evening newspaper Expressen that it was not a hate crime or incitement against a group of people, but against a book which, he said, instigates violence and murder.
A deliberate violation of the Muslim faith
Soon after the incident, the Presidium of the Swedish Christian Council (SKR) published a statement condemning the gesture.
"As Christian Churches, we defend the right of every person to practice their faith regardless of religion”, - reads the text. “The burning of the Quran is a deliberate violation of the Muslim faith and identity, but we see it also as an attack on all of us people of faith. Therefore, we want to express our solidarity with Muslim believers in our country".
The SKT's Presidium composed of Cardinal Anders Arborelius, the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Stockholm; Rev. Martin Modéus, Archbishop of the Church the Lutheran of Sweden, Lasse Svensson, leader of the Equmeniakyrkan (Lutheran movements); the Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Benjamin Dioscoros Atas, and Ms Sofia Camnerin, the SKT's General Secretary.
The Swedish PM: We should come to our senses
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also condemned the desecration at press conference: “I think we should come to our senses in Sweden.", he said "We are in a serious political security situation and there is no reason to offend other people”.
Demonstrations against the Quran have been taking place in Sweden since 2020.
In January this year the burning of the sacred text of Islam in front of the Turkish Embassy caused international outcry and Turkey subsequently vetoed Sweden's entry into NATO. The authorization for the latest demonstration was given after a ruling by the Court of Appeal asaying the police cannot deny rallies due to the risk of attacks.