The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos. UN
"The act of Quran-burning amounts to an expression of hatred towards Muslims. It is disrespectful and insulting to the adherents of Islam and should not be conflated with freedom of expression," Miguel Moratinos, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), said in a statement on Sunday.
Moratinos expressed his deep concern at the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence, regardless of the actors, directed against members of many religious and other communities in various parts of the world.
Moratinos stressed that mutual respect is essential for building and promoting just, inclusive and peaceful societies rooted in human rights and dignity for all.
Anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan, leader of Danish far-right political party Hard Line, staged an anti-Turkish protest outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm where he burned a copy of the Quran.
The incident has triggered official condemnation from Arab countries, and Turkey has cancelled a planned visit by Sweden’s defence minister scheduled for 27 January in response to the protests.
Paludan is known for burning the Quran in protests in Sweden and for his anti-Islam rhetoric.
Late on Saturday, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson tweeted: "Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy. But what is legal is not necessarily appropriate. Burning books that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act."
"I want to express my sympathy for all Muslims who are offended by what has happened in Stockholm today."