Al-Azhar renews condemnation of repeated desecration of Quran in Sweden

Ahram Online , Friday 21 Jul 2023

Al-Azhar has condemned the repeated burnings of the Quran in Sweden under the guise of freedom of expression and called for “unified and serious stances” towards Sweden's “anti-Islam and anti-Muslim policies."

A file photo of Al-Azhar headquarters in Cairo (Photo: Al-Ahram)


The condemnation by Al-Azhar, the world's leading Sunni Islamic authority, comes one day after the Swedish government approved an assembly outside the Iraqi embassy where participants had planned to burn a copy of the Quran alongside an Iraqi flag.

An Iraqi man kicked and stood on the Quran during that assembly.

"The Swedish authorities' continuous grants of approval to burn the Book of God reflects their chaotic policies, hateful extremism, support for terrorism and hostility to Muslims across the world," Al-Azhar stressed in a statement on Friday.

"Such attitudes disrespect the sanctities of religions and show that they only understand the 'language of money and material interests,'" Al-Azhar added.

"The Swedish government's allowance of “criminal terrorists” to desecrate the Quran is a “crime against Islam and the rights of religions and humanity.”

"Through their decisions, that society [Sweden] has proven that they are the closest to “racism, chaos and double standards, and the furthest from true freedom and respect for religions and peoples,” Al-Azhar further alleged.

On Thursday, angry protestors in Iraq stormed and set fire to the Swedish embassy in Baghdad in retaliation against the planned burning.

The Swedish ambassador to Iraq was also expelled.

In June, the same Iraqi man who organized the most recent protest at the Iraqi embassy burned another copy of the Quran in front of Stockholm’s main mosque.

That action was met by protestors breaching the Swedish embassy in Baghdad.

The Swedish government condemned the Quran burning in June as “Islamophobic” adding that such actions do not reflect their official views.

Boycott Swedish products

On Friday, Al-Azhar called upon all Arabs and Islamic peoples to continue boycotting all Swedish products in support of God and his book.

It asserted that any failure to strictly prohibit such actions amounts to support for and encouragement of these crimes.

Al-Azhar has been condemning similar Quran burning incidents, including a Quran burning in Denmark in March.

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