UN condemns burning of Quran in Sweden

The High-Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Moratinos has condemned the burning of pages of the holy Quran on Wednesday in front of a mosque in the center of Stockholm, Sweden.

Salwan Momika, 37, stomped on the Islamic holy book and set several pages on fire in front of the capital city’s largest mosque on Wednesday, an action that sparked outrage and condemnation across the Muslim world.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the Spokesperson of the High Representative for the UNAOC, Nihal Saad said that such a vile act is disrespectful to Muslims who celebrated the holy occasion of Eid Al-Adha on that Wednesday.

He added that the desecration of sacred books and places of worship as well as religious symbols is unacceptable and can lead to incitement of violence.

The High-Representative re-iterated the importance of upholding the freedom of expression as a fundamental human right, while stressing that mutual respect is essential for building and promoting just, inclusive and peaceful societies rooted in human rights and dignity for all.

In this context, the High-Representative recalled the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites led by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, which provided an overarching framework and a set of recommendations including strengthening religious pluralism and promoting mutual respect and human dignity.

According to reports, the Swedish police are investigating that matter, which may constitute hate crime, even as the perpetrator has threatened to burn more copies of the Quran in the coming days.

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