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Turkiye prosecutors launch probe into Quran-burning Danish, Dutch politicians

January 31, 2023 at 6:19 pm

Danish policemen take measures before Rasmus Paludan, a far-right Danish politician burns a copy of the Quran in front of Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 27, 2022. [Muhammet İkbal Arslan – Anadolu Agency]

Turkish prosecutors, on Tuesday, launched an investigation into Islamophobic Danish and Dutch politicians on charges of hurting public enmity and insulting religious values, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The move came after Danish-Swedish extremist, Rasmus Paludan, last week burned copies of the Quran on two separate occasions, first outside the Turkish Embassy in Sweden and then, later, in front of a mosque in Denmark.

Paludan also said he would burn the Muslim holy book every Friday until Sweden is admitted to the NATO alliance.

Edwin Wagensveld, a far-right Dutch politician and leader of the Islamophobic group, Pegida, also tore out pages from a copy of the Quran in The Hague and then burned its torn-out pages in a pan, as posted in Internet video.

READ: Does Denmark have an Islamophobia problem that it does not like to admit?

“The suspects in question committed acts of publicly hurting public hatred and enmity against the holy values ​​of the Islamic religion, the Quran, and the Prophet of Islam, and openly insulted the religious values ​​espoused by a section of the people, ” said a statement on the investigation by prosecutors in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

The statement said the prosecutors opened an investigation on the charges in line with relevant articles of the Turkish Penal Code.

Global condemnations have poured in over the Quran burning, with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemning Paludan’s actions as “deeply disrespectful”.

The provocations drew protests and outrage across the Islamic world, with Turkiye questioning how police permitted the protests and took no action to stop them, instead claiming that the desecration fell under “freedom of speech”.

Turkiye called Paludan an “Islam-hating charlatan” and strongly condemned the permission given by the authorities for the provocative act, which it said “clearly constitutes a hate crime”.

READ: Turkiye: parliamentary speaker says West ignores own values with Muslims