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Saudi Arabia summons Swedish chargé d’affairs to protest Quran burning

July 22, 2023 at 10:00 am

Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Manama, Bahrain on December 09, 2021. [Bahraini Foreign Ministry – Anadolu Agency]

The Saudi Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Swedish Embassy in the Kingdom, handing him a protest note against the burning and desecration of copies of the Holy Quran.

This was conveyed in a statement issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The statement read: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned today (Friday) the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Sweden in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and handed him a protest note on Riyadh’s demand for the Swedish authorities to take all immediate and necessary measures to stop these disgraceful acts, which violate all religious teachings and international laws and norms.”

The statement: “Affirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s categorical rejection of such acts that fuel interreligious hatred.”

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It added that this step comes as a follow-up to its statement issued on Thursday, in which it expressed: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s condemnation and denunciation of the official permission Swedish authorities have repeatedly granted extremists that allow them to burn copies of the Holy Quran,” describing the move as irresponsible behaviour and disgraceful acts provoking Muslims around the world.

On Thursday, Sweden again allowed extremists to desecrate the Holy Quran, sparking a new wave of anger in the Arab and Islamic world, expressed in official condemnations and summons of Stockholm ambassadors.

The Swedish authorities allowed Salwan Monika (an Iraqi residing in Sweden), once again, to organise a small demonstration on Thursday in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Stockholm, during which he announced that he would burn a copy of the Quran and the Iraqi flag.

On 28 June, Monika tore up a copy of the Quran and set it alight at the Stockholm Central Mosque after the police granted him permission to organise a gathering in compliance with a judicial decision. This was met with widespread condemnation in the Arab and Islamic world.

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