By Chris King •
Published: 29 Jul 2023 • 0:57
Image of Swedish PM Ulf Kristersson.
Credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
THE Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, revealed on Thursday, July 27, that the police had received multiple applications for permits to burn religious books.
Speaking with the Swedish news agency TT, he voiced his concern for the first time since the latest Quran crisis occurred, that more book burnings could only further escalate the already high tensions among Muslim nations. As a result, ties between Stockholm and Muslim countries are currently at an all-time low.
He told TT: ‘It’s the police that make those decisions, not me. If the permits are granted, we face a number of days with the obvious risk of serious things happening’.
A handful of far-right extremists in Sweden have already desecrated copies of the Muslim holy book in public. More recently, the same thing happened in Denmark.
Angry demonstrations followed in Muslim countries, including the storming of the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, which was subsequently set on fire by protestors.
According to Swedish law, the burning of the Quran or other religious texts is perfectly legal. The Swedish Constitution protects its citizens’ rights to stage public demonstrations.
Permission for such events is usually granted by the police. They first weigh up the potential risks to public safety or the possibility of major disruptions occurring as a consequence of permission being granted.
Last Wednesday 26, it was admitted by the Swedish Security Service that since the recent book burnings were allowed, the country’s image among Muslim nations has been severely affected.
At the request of the opposition Social Democratic Party, a meeting was held to discuss the crisis, which involved Foreign Minister Tobias Billström and security service representatives appearing before Swedish Parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
Billström told TT after the meeting: ‘Our primary and most important task is to protect Swedish interests and the safety of Swedes both here and abroad. We should take the developments that are now underway very seriously, everyone in our country should do so’.
A new task force has been created among Swedish security agencies in an effort to find a way of combatting violent extremism and terrorism explained the Prime Minister.
An emergency remote meeting has been called at the ministerial level for July 31 by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It will discuss the recent burnings of holy Qurans in Denmark and Sweden, according to trtworld.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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