The Qu'ran
The Qu'ranFlash 90

A protester on Wednesday tore up and burned a copy of the Qu'ran, Islam's holiest book, outside Stockholm’s central mosque following Eid al-Adha services. According to reports, during an anti-Islam demonstration, the extremist wiped his shoes with the pages of the torn Qu'ran before putting bacon in it and setting it on fire. About 200 Muslims who were present during the incident shouted "Allah Hu Akbar" (God is Great) to protest against the burning, the reports said.

Reuters reported that the protester was arrested by local police and charged with agitation against an ethnic or national group. Police also detained a Muslim onlooker at the scene after he attempted to throw a rock at the protester.

According to al-Arabiya, the suspect is Salwan Momika, 37, who fled Iraq to Sweden several years ago.

The action garnered condemnation from several nations, with the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating on Thursday: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs voiced the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's strong condemnation and denunciation of the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur'an by an extremist at Stockholm Central Mosque in Sweden following Eid al-Adha prayer, These hateful and repeated acts cannot be accepted with any justification, as they clearly incite hatred, exclusion, and racism, and directly contradict international efforts seeking to spread the values of tolerance, moderation, and rejection of extremism, and undermine the necessary mutual respect for relations between peoples and states."

During his daily briefing, deputy spokesperson for the US State Department, Vedant Patel, told reporters, "Burning of religious texts is disrespectful and hurtful. What might be legal is certainly not necessarily appropriate."

The incident also caused diplomatic friction with Turkey, with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan condemning the act in a tweet stating: “I curse the despicable act committed against our Holy Book, the Holy Qu'ran, on the first day of Eid al-Adha. It is unacceptable to allow these anti-Islamic actions under the pretext of freedom of expression. Turning a blind eye to such atrocious acts is to be complicit.”

The two nations have been at odds since a protester burned a copy of the holy book outside the Turkish embassy in January. Amid the anti-Islam and pro-Kurd protests in the country, Turkey is blocking Sweden's request to join NATO.

According to Reuters, Swedish police have rejected several recent applications for anti-Qu'ran demonstrations, but courts have overruled those decisions, saying they infringed on freedom of speech.