Separate protest rallies in Iraq against Quran desecration in Denmark
Some Sadrist Movement supporters attempt to enter Green Zone in Baghdad and attack Danish Embassy, but security forces disperse them with tear gas
By Haydar Karaalp
BAGHDAD (AA) – Hundreds of people in Iraq on Saturday protested the desecration of the Quran in Denmark.
Supporters of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia (Popular Mobilization Forces) gathered near the Green Zone in Baghdad, where the Danish Embassy is located, to protest Denmark's decision to allow the burning of a copy of the Holy Quran.
Protesters carrying the holy book chanted anti-Denmark slogans.
Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of the Shiite Badr Organization, also took part in the protest while holding the Quran in his hand.
During the demonstration, the protesters also set fire to LGBT flags.
Separately, supporters of the Islamic nationalist Sadrist Movement gathered in Baghdad's central El-Tahrir Square to stage a protest demonstration against Denmark.
Some Sadrist supporters attempted to enter the Green Zone and attack the Danish Embassy, but security forces dispersed them with tear gas.
On Friday, members of the Islamophobic and far-right nationalist group "Danske Patrioter (Danish Patriots)" burned a copy of the Holy Quran in front of Iraq's Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Earlier this week, Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi refugee living in Sweden, stomped and kicked the Holy Quran, just weeks after he set fire to pages of the holy book outside a Stockholm mosque.
While in January this year, Rasmus Paludan, a far-right Danish leader, burned a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. The incident sparked outrage and condemnation across the Islamic world.
A Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant for Paludan following his Islamophobic act. The investigation launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against Paludan on the charge of "publicly insulting the religious values" is ongoing.
*Writing by Esra Tekin in Istanbul
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