UPDATE WITH MORE DETAILS AND PROTESTS IN DENMARK
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AA) - People living in Denmark expressed their frustration at the burning of a copy of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims, by a far-right Swedish-Danish figure.
On Friday, Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) Party, burned a copy of the Quran in front of a mosque in Denmark.
The Islamophobic act came days after the far-right leader burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, during a police-approved protest.
Anadolu asked the people living in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, for their views on the burning of the Quran.
Ane Andresem, a 35-year-old Danish scientist, said that Paludan was just doing it to irritate people.
"So I don't think what he's doing makes any sense. Legally, he can do whatever he wants, he can say whatever he wants, but that doesn't mean it was the right move. The Bible could've burned too. I personally don't care because I'm not Muslim, but I can see the Muslims are frustrated," she said.
Andresem said in countries such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark, such acts are "permitted to protect freedom of expression."
A 51-year-old Danish entrepreneur Dorchemie Svain also described Paludan as "a lunatic," saying he did not understand why the police and the state were allowed to devote so much time to this man.
He added: "If it provokes these people, you won't do it. Why are you doing this? I think you shouldn't. Why would you do it if such behavior makes people angry or upset?"
Another Danish citizen, who requested anonymity, said Paludan's action is only causing trouble.
Danish Muslim Community President Mohamed Nehme, who witnessed Paludan's burning of the Quran, said the Muslims acted wisely in the face of this provocative act, which he described as "sick."
"We were hurt, but thankfully we did not react. Our holy book, the Quran, is in our hearts. No one can take it out of our hearts," he said.
Meanwhile, a group of Muslims in Denmark on Sunday gathered outside the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen to protest against the provocative burning of a copy of the Quran.
Among the crowd there were Türkiye's Ambassador to Copenhagen Rıza Hakan Tekin, the representatives of non-governmental organizations, Turkish and foreign citizens.
Verses from the Quran were recited in Danish.
"We condemn this barbaric behavior that does not befit human dignity. In addition, we encourage all intellectuals, academics, non-governmental organizations, members of the media and sensible people who believe in the law and human rights, who care about faith and social peace, to react and take the initiative against this heinous attack," they told reporters in a joint statement.
Global condemnations have poured in with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson condemning Paludan’s actions as "deeply disrespectful," while the US called it "repugnant."
* Writing by Aysu Bicer