Sweden's foreign minister condemns disrespect towards Quran

Sweden's foreign minister condemns disrespect towards Quran

Tobias Billstrom has phone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart over burning of Muslim holy book

By Naim Berjawi and Zeynep Tufekci Gulay

BEIRUT (AA) - Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said Sunday that his country regrets and condemns the recent attack on the Quran in Stockholm and insulting actions towards Islamic beliefs and symbols.

Billstrom made the remarks in a phone call with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib, according to a statement from the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Bou Habib welcomed Sweden's stance and urged the country to take additional and practical steps to prevent Islamophobia and hate crimes.

Last week, Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi refugee living in Sweden, stomped on and kicked the Quran, just weeks after setting fire to pages of the Muslim holy book outside a Stockholm mosque.

In January, 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.

Following these incidents, anti-Sweden protests took place in several cities in Lebanon. Sweden's ambassador to the country, Ann Dismorr, reportedly left the country for a planned vacation.

*Alperen Aktas contributed to story from Istanbul

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