Koran burned in front of the Danish mosque, Turkish embassy | Islamophobia news

An anti-Islam activist has burned copies of the Muslim holy book near a Copenhagen mosque and outside the Turkish embassy in Denmark.

Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist who has Danish and Swedish citizenship, had already angered the Turkish government by organizing a Koran burning protest in Sweden on January 21.

On Friday, he replicated the stunt in front of a mosque as well as the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen, vowing to continue every Friday until Sweden is admitted to NATO.

Sweden and neighboring Finland are seeking to join the military alliance amid the war in Ukraine, in a historic reversal of their non-aligned policies.

However, its accession would require the approval of all NATO members, and Turkey has indicated it will block Sweden’s offer, partly because of Paludan’s initial gimmick.

Even before that, Ankara was pressuring the two countries to crack down on Kurdish armed groups, activists and other groups it considers “terrorists”.

summoned ambassador

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu agency said the Danish ambassador was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, where Turkish officials “strongly condemned the permission given for this provocative act which clearly constitutes a hate crime.”

The ambassador was told that “Denmark’s attitude is unacceptable” and that Turkey expected the permit to be revoked.

Subsequently, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling Paludan a “charlatan who hates Islam” and deploring the fact that he was allowed to organize the demonstration.

“Showing tolerance towards such heinous acts that offend the sensibilities of millions of people living in Europe threatens the practice of peaceful coexistence and provokes racist, xenophobic and anti-Muslim attacks,” the ministry said.

Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told Danish media that the incident would not change Denmark’s “good relationship” with Turkey, adding that Copenhagen intended to talk to Ankara about Denmark’s laws upholding liberties.

“Our task now is to talk to Turkey about what conditions are like in Denmark with our open democracy, and that there is a difference between Denmark as a country, and our people as such, and then about individual people who have very divergent views. said Løkke Rasmussen.

After the Paludan action in Sweden last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Stockholm not to expect support for his NATO bid. Turkey also indefinitely postponed a key meeting in Brussels that would have discussed membership for Sweden and Finland.

police protection

On Friday, Paludan burned a copy of the Muslim holy book for the first time in front of a mosque in Copenhagen. Loud music blared through the mosque as he spoke, in an apparent attempt to drown out his words, according to The Associated Press news agency.

“This mosque has no place in Denmark,” Paludan said in a live broadcast on his Facebook page, wearing a protective helmet and surrounded by riot police.

Paludan, who has police protection, was then driven away in a police car.

Later, outside the Turkish embassy, ​​Paludan was quoted as saying through a megaphone: “Once [Erdogan] has let Sweden into NATO, I promise I will not burn the Koran outside the Turkish embassy. Otherwise, I’ll do it every Friday at 2pm.”

Paludan, a lawyer, established far-right parties in both Sweden and Denmark that have failed to win any seats in national, regional or municipal elections. In last year’s parliamentary elections in Sweden, his party received just 156 votes nationwide.

Protests were held in several predominantly Muslim countries on Friday to denounce the Paludan protest in Sweden and a similar incident in the Netherlands.

The condemnation and protests in countries like Pakistan, Iraq and Lebanon ended with the peaceful dispersal of the people. In Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, the police detained some protesters who were trying to march towards the Swedish embassy.

Meanwhile, the United States issued a security advisory, warning American citizens in Turkey of possible retaliatory attacks against places of worship or places frequented by Westerners following the Quran burning incidents.

Far-right politician Rasmus Paludan stands with loudspeaker in hand in front of a mosque. [Ritzau Scanpix/Olafur Steinar Gestsson via Reuters]

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