Police officers arrest a person, on the ground, who drove a car into roadblocks in Malmo, Sweden, Saturday, April 16, 2022.
The Muslim World League (MWL) condemned on Monday the desecration of the holy Quran and incitement against Muslims in Sweden, warning against provocative acts meant to inflame the feelings of Muslims, widen societies' schisms, and offend the values of freedom and humanity, Al-Ekhbariya news channel reported.
MWL Secretary-General and Chairman of the Muslim Scholars Association Mohamed Abdul-Karim Al-Issa called on Muslims in Sweden and around the world to exercise restraint, ignore attempts to spread extremist thought, and adhere to wise Islamic faith and values that advocate shunning violence and hatred.
He reaffirmed Islam's divine teachings that call for peaceful coexistence away from discrimination and hatred.
On Sunday, clashes erupted in two Swedish cities, Norrkoping and Linkoping, for the second time in four days over rallies by anti-immigration and anti-Islam group Hard Line, led by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan.
The riots broke out following Paludan's meetings and planned Quran burnings in various Swedish cities since Thursday.
Egypt denounced the deliberate desecration of the holy Quran and incitement against Muslims by the extremist group in Sweden, warning that such provocative acts may trigger outrage among Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
A foreign ministry statement reiterated Cairo's rejection of all acts targeting religious beliefs and sanctities and provocative practices offending values of freedom and humanity.
The statement reaffirmed the importance of respecting freedom of faith as a basic human right.
It called for advocating values of tolerance and co-existence and shunning violence and hatred that would deepen discrimination in societies.
Al-Azhar, the 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Muslim learning, also condemned Paludan’s burning of the Quran copy.
In a statement on Saturday, Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism warned extremist right-wing groups against the consequences of such actions that aim to “achieve political or personal gains at the expense of the peace and cohesion of societies.”
“Such crimes provoke and inflame the feelings of more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world,” said the observatory, which follows up on Muslim conditions worldwide and issues periodical reports on extremism-related topics.
The observatory also warned that such abuses contribute to “igniting the fire of sedition and conflicts among the people of the one nation,” adding that “sanctities are a red line and should not be insulted or violated.”
Saudi Council of Senior Scholars
The Saudi Council of Senior Scholars vehemently denounced the incident on Monday.
In a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the council described the act as "barbaric."
It further stressed the importance of concerted efforts to spread the values of dialogue, tolerance, coexistence, renounce hatred, extremism, exclusion, and prevent the abuse of all religions and holy sites.
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry slammed in the strongest terms the provocative action by Paludan, leader of the Stram Kurs, of burning a copy of the Holy Quran in Linkoping, Sweden.
Such abhorrent practices stand against freedom of religion and beliefs and coexistence, a matter which should be strongly denounced by the international community, the ministry said in a statement.
Malaysia also strongly condemned the incident. The foreign ministry said Paludan's action went beyond moral limits and norms of the right to freedom of speech and expression.
Such action is provocative and incites hatred that must be rejected by all who seek peace and promote peaceful coexistence, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It underlined the importance of eliminating all forms of violence and hatred, including Islamophobia, saying it will continue to work closely with fellow members of the international community to prevent and eradicate Islamophobic sentiments and religious extremism.