Sweden in close dialogue with Denmark over Quran burnings

Sweden in close dialogue with Denmark over Quran burnings

‘We are currently in the most serious security situation since the Second World War,’ says Ulf Kristersson

By Atila Altuntas

STOCKHOLM (AA) - Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Sunday he has been in close consultations with his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen over the burnings of the Quran in their countries.

Kristersson said Sweden is experiencing its "most serious security situation" since World War II.

"We are aware that states and state-like actors are actively exploiting the situation," he added.

While emphasizing the importance of freedom of expression and the right to protest, he said "the situation is dangerous and measures are needed to strengthen our resilience. In Sweden, we have already started analyzing the legal situation – including the Public Order Act – with the purpose of exploring the scope for measures that would strengthen our national security and the security of Swedes in Sweden and abroad."

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan had a phone call with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom regarding the burning of the Quran in Sweden.

Fidan stressed the “unacceptability” of such actions under the guise of freedom of expression and urged the Swedish government to take “concrete steps” to prevent these attacks, which have caused a significant backlash in the Islamic world.

Iraqi-born Salwan Momika and Salwan Najem, who had previously burned the Quran in the country, have been granted permission to burn the Muslim holy book in front of the Swedish Parliament on July 31.

The police said the two men had requested permission to burn the Quran at the Fittja Ulu Mosque and in front of the Iranian embassy in Stockholm and were waiting for approval.

On July 20, Momika desecrated the Quran and the Iraqi flag under police protection in front of Iraq's embassy in Stockholm.

The Swedish Migration Agency launched an investigation against Momika, and on July 11, it filed a lawsuit to revoke his residence and work permit and deport him.

The agency said Momika had been granted a work and residence permit on April 16, 2021 which would expire on April 16, 2024.

According to the Swedish newspaper Expressen, the migration agency filed the lawsuit against Momika due to suspicions of "war crimes" committed during his time in Iraq.

*Writing by Necva Tastan in Istanbul

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