Swedish PM brands burning of Quran ‘destructive’

Lazy eyes listen


Anti-Islam demonstrators burning the Quran is a damaging act that jeopardizes Sweden’s national security, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Thursday.

Kristersson, in a Facebook post, encouraged the people to understand that the situation is “very serious.”

“The most recent destructive events – in particular, different demonstrative burning incidents – have increased risks for Sweden,” he said.

According to the prime minister, “we have gone from being what is called a legitimate target for terrorist attack to a priority target,” based on a police evaluation.

Sweden is also at risk of becoming “a pawn in the games played by outside powers,” he said.

Mikael Ostlund, the chief of communication at Sweden’s Psychological Defense Agency, accused Russia on Wednesday of using the Quran-burning incidents in its “disinformation campaign… to split us in the West and also to create increased anxiety and polarization here in Sweden.” He claimed Moscow’s purpose was to “make joining NATO more difficult for Sweden.”

Demonstrators have damaged the Quran twice in recent weeks outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, with prior approval from the police.

In June, angry Iraqis stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set it on fire. Soon after, Iraqi authorities removed the Swedish ambassador and summoned their representative from Stockholm.

Other Muslim countries have expressed outrage over the burning incidents, including Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

Kristersson revealed to TT news agency on Thursday that Swedish police have received numerous more petitions to allow the burning of religious literature in the next week, but did not specifically mention the Quran.

Earlier this month, a Muslim activist gained permission to set fire to the Torah and the Bible outside the Israeli consulate in Stockholm. However, the activist changed his mind at the last minute and decided to stage a demonstration against the burning of holy books of any faith.