Egypt condemned in the strongest terms on Monday the deliberate burning of a holy Quran by a group of far-right extremists in Sweden and the subsequent inflaming of Muslim feelings around the world during the holy month of Ramadan.
The incident is part of the Swedish far-right’s practices that incite violence and intolerance against immigrants in general and Muslims in particular.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, Egypt stressed its rejection of the violation of religious principles and beliefs, whatever they may be, and the use of provocative practices that are contrary to all human values and principles.
It also emphasised the need to respect the right to freedom of religion and belief as a fundamental human right.
Egypt called on the international community to uphold the common denominators of tolerance, acceptance of others, and peaceful coexistence among peoples, renouncing calls for incitement and hatred, and putting a stop to acts of violence, sabotage, and provocation that would harm the stability, security, and peace of societies.
Leader of Danish far-right party Strom Kors Rasmus Baludan burned a copy of the holy Quran during his election tour in Sweden.
According to local media in Sweden, Baludan obtained a permit from the Swedish police to organise a demonstration on the afternoon of Thursday, 14 April, announcing his intention then to burn a copy of the holy Quran during the rally, which angered Muslims there.
It is worth mentioning that Baludan has carried out similar acts on a regular basis in recent years and, as a result of this, was arrested in November 2020 at Charles De Gaulle Airport in France and deported.
This the fourth time a holy Quran has been burnt in less than a month in Swedish cities under the protection of the Swedish police.
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb described the burning of the Quran in Sweden as “a barbaric act of racism and terrorism.”
“There is no doubt that these heinous crimes fuel hatred, undermine the security of societies, and threaten the hopes of dialogue between religions and civilisations,” he said.
“They should realise that the burning of the holy Quran enflames the feelings of nearly two billion Muslims around the world, and that human history will record these crimes in the pages of shame.”
In the same context, Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism stressed that holy sites, texts, and relics are a red line that should not be insulted or touched, pointing out that such crimes would “contribute to igniting the fire of strife and conflicts between the sons of one nation.”
The observatory also warned far-right groups against actions that achieve political or personal gain at the expense of the peace and cohesion of societies.
For its part, the European Commission for Islamic centres said that it is following with great concern with the members of the Arab and Muslim community in Europe what is happening in Sweden regarding the ripping and burning of the holy Quran during the holy month of Ramadan.
The commission explained in a statement that this extremist group, which has no legitimacy in all Western countries, aims to spread and promote fear of Muslims in the west and sow discord between the spectrums of multi-religious and multicultural society.
Furthermore, the commission condemned these uncivilised behaviours and considers them a flagrant violation of the principles of human rights in terms of freedom of religion, respect for divine religions, and coexistence, which have been legitimised by all international laws and civilisational norms.