Creating new perspectives since 2009

'Those who burn books will in the end burn people,' warn Jewish, Muslim communities in Sweden

January 26, 2023 at 3:36 pm

Thousands of people gather to protest against the burning of the Quran in Sweden, [Mohammed Hamoud – Anadolu Agency]

“Those who burn books will in the end burn people,” Jewish and Muslim communities in Sweden have warned, quoting famous German-Jewish author, Heinrich Heine, following recent burnings of the Muslim Holy Book, the Quran, Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a reference to book burning in Nazi Germany, the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities and the AMANAH Muslim Jewish Partnership of Trust said in a joint statement on Wednesday ​​​​​​​that book burning often indicates the beginning of the normalisation of hatred towards a group in society.

“Historically against Jews, now against Muslims”, said the statement, warning that racists and extremists are once again “allowed to abuse democracy and Freedom of Speech in order to normalise hate against one of the religious minorities in Sweden, by burning Quran”.

Drawing attention to the intensified attacks on Jewish and Muslim people in the country, they expressed concern.

“In a democratic society, every individual has the right to feel safe and appreciated. We hereby wish to express our support to the Swedish Muslim Community and clearly state that every action and sign of prejudice and hatred is unacceptable.”

On Saturday, Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist, Rasmus Paludan, burned a copy of the Muslim Holy Book in a police-approved protest in the capital, Stockholm.

A day later, Edwin Wagensveld, a far-right Dutch politician and leader of the Islamophobic group, Pegida, tore out pages from the Quran in The Hague, the administrative capital of the Netherlands. Wagensveld’s video on Twitter showed that he burned the torn-out pages of the Holy Book in a pan.

READ: Extremist Danish politician burns the Quran in Sweden