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Turkey urges Sweden to take steps to stop Koran burnings

Photo/Reuters.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan on Sunday urged Sweden to take immediate action to stop the burning of the Koran, a Turkish foreign minister source said.

Muslims have been outraged by several protests recently damaging or burning copies of the Koran in Sweden and Denmark. Sweden’s embassy in Baghdad was stormed and set fire by angry protesters.

According to the source, Reuters reported that Fidan called his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom and told him that continuing such “vile actions” under the cover of free speech was unacceptable.

According to the source, Fidan and Billstrom also spoke about Sweden’s bid to join NATO military alliance membership.

Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, said on Sunday that he held talks with Mette Frederiksen, the prime minister of Denmark and that they both agreed the situation was dangerous.

Earlier this month, Salwan Momika, an Iraqi citizen living in Sweden, was accused of trampling on the Koran and setting some pages on fire outside Stockholm’s most prominent mosque on June 28. This incident drew widespread outrage from all around the world.

The Stockholm police reportedly permitted several protesters to burn the holy Quran. A week after a Swedish court rejected the plea to ban such rallies and meetings, the permit was given.

Meanwhile, the Swedish government condemned the burning of the holy Quran outside a mosque and described it as an “Islamophobia act.”

“We condemn the Quran burning in Stockholm in the strongest terms, and this hateful act does not represent the views of the Swedish government,” the statement said.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry’s statement also includes, “Burning Quran or any other holy scripture is an insulting and impolite act aimed at inciting public opinion. “Racism, homophobia and other acts of intolerance have no place in Sweden or Europe.”