UPDATE - Türkiye strongly condemns ‘vile attack’ targeting Quran in Sweden

UPDATE - Türkiye strongly condemns ‘vile attack’ targeting Quran in Sweden

Foreign Ministry urges Sweden to take ‘deterrent measures’ to prevent hate crimes against Islam

By Zehra Nur Duz and Muhammet Tarhan

ANKARA (AA) – Türkiye on Thursday strongly condemned the “vile attack” targeting Islam’s holy book, the Quran, near the Iraqi Embassy in Sweden.

In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry urged Sweden to take “deterrent measures” to prevent hate crimes against Islam and billions of Muslims as part of its international responsibilities, especially its obligations under the UN, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Council of Europe.

“Türkiye is ready to work together with the countries where such attacks take place in the fields of Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism and discrimination,” the statement added.

Separately, Akif Cagatay Kilic, chief advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, strongly condemned the “baseness” committed against Quran in Sweden.

“This vile action is an insult to the democracy and freedoms and a crime against humanity. The Swedish government should review the laws, decisions and practices it has taken refuge behind,” Kilic said on Twitter.

He invited the Swedish authorities, who allow such “provocative actions” that the Swedish people will never accept, to “reason and consideration.”

“Everyone has to respect each other’s sacredness. The real freedom is going to come by providing this respect!” said Kilic.

Also, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan discussed the issue separately with his Iraqi, Saudi Arabian and Egyptian counterparts over the phone.

The top diplomats discussed the mobilization of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the joint measures regarding the increasing anti-Islam movements and hate crimes in Europe, said a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Early Thursday morning, a crowd of Iraqis stormed Sweden’s Embassy in Baghdad and set it ablaze in protest of the burning of a copy of the Quran last month by Salwan Momika, an Iraqi-born man who now lives in Sweden.

Sweden’s Foreign Ministry condemned the attack on its embassy in Baghdad, calling it a “serious violation” of the Vienna Convention.

Many states, including the US, Russia, Türkiye, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan as well as other Islamic countries, decried the attack.

Sweden also launched an investigation into the incident.

Following the storming of Stockholm’s diplomatic mission, Momika again desecrated a copy of the Quran, stepping on it and the Iraqi flag in front of Iraqi Embassy in Sweden.

Thursday’s incident happened after Iraq warned Sweden it could break diplomatic ties if such Quran desecrations happen again. Baghdad went through with the action, declaring Sweden’s envoy persona non grata after the holy book was desecrated for a second time in a month.

The UN Human Rights Council on July 12 condemned recent attacks on the Quran despite Western countries’ votes against the resolution.

The draft resolution was presented by Pakistan on behalf of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The resolution, which calls for condemnation of attacks targeting the Quran and described them as “acts of religious hatred,” was put to vote by the 47-member council.

It was adopted with 28 countries voting in favor, 12 countries voting against it, and 7 countries abstaining at the 53rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council.

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