Dark clouds gathering over Stockholm
Dark clouds gathering over StockholmFlash 90

Swedish Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer assured Jewish leaders that the Swedish government is examining legal and legislative possibilities to ensure a ban on the desecration of holy books throughout the country following the recent Quran burnings and threats to burn a Torah in demonstrations throughout the country.

In a letter to Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA), who called the Swedish Government to ban such desecrations, Minister Strömmer said: “While in Sweden it is the authorities and courts that decide on individual requests to demonstrate, that an act is lawful does not mean that it is appropriate."

"Desecration of Holy Books is an offensive and disrespectful act and a clear provocation. The Swedish Government understands that the acts in question committed by individuals attending demonstrations may be offensive, acts which in no way reflect the Swedish Government’s opinions,” he added.

Strömmer pledged that “the Swedish Government is closely monitoring developments both nationally and internationally in response to recent events. We are conducting a process of analysis of the legal situation in light of this.”

Rabbi Margolin thanked Minister Strömmer for his pledge and stressed that: “Those bent on stoking division are exploiting the constitution for their own ends and it is a loophole that needs to be closed. While the right to freedom of protest is a fundamental right, it must end at the point where it infringes on another’s fundamental rights of faith and traditions. We utterly condemn any violence or vandalism against Swedish persons and buildings that may flow in response to burnings. This is never the way, no matter how offended one may feel.”