Tearing of Quran in Netherlands fuels hate speech: Egypt Foreign Ministry

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Jan 2023

Egypt strongly condemned on Tuesday the tearing of a part of a copy of the Quran by a leader of an extremist movement in the Netherlands, warning that the action fuels hate speech.

The HQ of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo. Photo : Al-Ahram
The HQ of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo. Photo : Al-Ahram


The incident took place around the Dutch parliament in the Hague in the Netherlands. 

"The disgraceful incident goes beyond freedom of expression, violates Muslim sanctities, and fuels hate speech between religions and peoples in a way that threatens communal security and stability," the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Edwin Wagensveld, leader of the Dutch chapter of the German far-right group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamicisation of the Occident (PEGIDA), tore apart pages of Islam's holy book and walked over them in an anti-Islam protest on Monday.

The incident in the Dutch city is the second in Europe in less than a week after Rasmus Paludan, leader of Danish far-right political party Hard Line, burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

"Egypt has expressed its deep concern over the recurrence of blasphemy incidents and the recent escalation of Islamophobia in a number of European countries," the foreign ministry said.

The ministry added that those countries have a responsibility to prevent the recurrence of such practices that are "inconsistent with the system of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Egypt had also condemned the burning of a Quran copy in Stockholm on Saturday, warning that this “disgraceful act provokes the feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world."

The Stockholm incident triggered Arab condemnation and caused Turkey to cancel a planned visit by Sweden’s defence minister, scheduled for 27 January, in response to the protests.

Furthermore, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Sweden should not expect any support from Turkey to join the NATO as a member.

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