EU views 'reckless' Quran burnings in Denmark, Sweden as 'individual' provocations

EU views 'reckless' Quran burnings in Denmark, Sweden as 'individual' provocations

'The EU has always been clear that manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and related intolerance have no place in Europe,' says official

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) – Recent "reckless" attacks on Islam’s holy book, the Quran, in Denmark and Sweden are "individual" provocations, the EU said on Thursday.

"The EU has always been clear that manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and related intolerance have no place in Europe," Nabila Massrali, the EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said at a press conference.

Responding to reporters' questions, Massrali said such actions are incompatible with the values upon which the EU was founded, which include respect for religious communities.

"These reckless acts committed by individual provocateurs only benefit those who want to divide us and our societies," she added.

She reiterated that the EU attaches "great importance" to promoting religious freedom or belief for Muslims and combating religious intolerance and anti-Muslim hatred and that the bloc regularly calls on states to fight intolerance, violence, and discrimination against Muslims.

Last week, EU's Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell recalled the bloc's "strong and determined rejection of any form of incitement to religious hatred and intolerance."

"The desecration of the Quran, or of any other book considered holy, is offensive, disrespectful and a clear provocation," Borrell said, adding that "Expressions of racism, xenophobia, and related intolerance have no place in the European Union."

Recent months have seen repeated acts of Quran burning, desecration, or attempts to do so by Islamophobic figures or groups, especially in northern European and Nordic countries.

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