Al-Azhar has condemned the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an “by a group of terrorists affiliated with the Swedish far-right, in a repeated scene indicating the complicity of the Swedish authorities with these criminals.”
As the highest spiritual authority for Muslims worldwide, Al-Azhar described the incident as an attempt to repeatedly and deliberately offend Islamic sanctities and provoke Muslims around the world.
In a statement, Al-Azhar reaffirmed that these “criminal acts” emanating from “savages” will not affect the sanctity of the Holy Qur’an in the heart of a civilized person, and it will remain in its perch a guiding book for all humanity, guiding to the values of goodness, truth and beauty.
“Islam’s sanctity is not undermined by the grudges of the misguided criminals, nor the actions of fanaticism, hatred and sick souls; One of the black record holders in the history of intolerance, hatred and wars of religion,” read the statement.
On Friday, Sweden’s authorities allowed the leader of the far-right Danish Hard-Line party, Rasmus Paludan, to burn a copy of the Holy Qur’an in front of the Turkish embassy building in Stockholm on Saturday.
As a result, Ankara summoned Sweden’s ambassador and informed him of its condemnation in the strongest terms. Turkey had also announced the cancellation of a scheduled visit by the Swedish Defense Minister to Ankara on 27 January.
The far-right politician Paludan has been carrying out provocative acts by burning copies of the Holy Qur’an in various cities in Denmark since 2017.
It is believed that Paludan selected the Turkish embassy for his plan due to the recent diplomatic dispute between Ankara and Stockholm as Turkey’s obstacles to Sweden’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO.
Moreover, Al-Azhar called on the human community, international institutions and the world’s wise men to stand up to attempts to tamper with religious sanctities, condemn these criminal acts, put an end to the chaos of the term “freedom of expression” and its misuse with regard to provoking Muslims and respecting their sanctities.
Al-Azhar also called for opening an urgent investigation into the repetition of these incidents, stressing that allowing “those criminals” to repeat these provocations under the slogan of “freedom of expression” even with silence; is an outcast collusion that hinders efforts to promote peace, interfaith dialogue, and communication between East and West, and between the Islamic world and the Western world.