Controversial Demonstration in Sweden: Burning Holy Books Sparks Outrage

Swedish police have given the green light to a public demonstration where a trio of individuals plan to incinerate copies of the Bible and the Torah.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Controversial Demonstration in Sweden: Burning Holy Books Sparks Outrage

Swedish police have given the green light to a public demonstration where a trio of individuals plan to incinerate copies of the Bible and the Torah. The proposed event, set to occur directly in front of the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, was swiftly denounced by Israel.

Burning Religious Texts: Protest or Provocation?

The application to the police detailed the intentions of the protest: to set fire to the two central texts of Christianity and Judaism. The organizer explained that this was a direct response to an incident in June where a Koran was publicly burned in front of a mosque in Stockholm.

That event had ignited widespread anger among the global Muslim community. The impending gathering is scheduled to take place on Saturday, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM local time. When approached for comment, the Swedish police clarified their position.

They pointed out that the approval was not for the burning of religious books per se. Instead, the permission was granted for a public assembly where a "certain opinion" would be aired, in accordance with the constitutional right to freedom of assembly.

Criticism and Condemnation

Israeli President Isaac Herzog was quick to express his strong disapproval of the Swedish authorities' decision. “I unequivocally condemn the permission granted in Sweden to burn holy books.

As the President of Israel, I condemned the burning of the Quran, sacred to Muslims world over, and I am now heartbroken that the same fate awaits a Jewish Bible, the eternal book of the Jewish people,” Herzog communicated via Twitter.

Yaakov Hagoel, president of the World Zionist Organization, made a blunt assessment of the situation. He said, granting such a police permit was not an exercise of "freedom of speech, but anti-Semitism". The backdrop to this current controversy was an event on June 28, where an Iraqi refugee in Sweden burned several pages of the Koran outside the main mosque in Stockholm during Eid al-Adha, a significant Muslim holiday.

The act triggered widespread reactions in the Muslim world and led the UN Human Rights Council to pass a resolution condemning the desecration of the Koran and instances of religious hatred. While many nations, primarily Western ones, oppose the introduction of blasphemy laws, they are united in their condemnation of such provocations.

These actions threaten the harmonious coexistence of different religions and challenge the principles of mutual respect and understanding.

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