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Middle East condemns, protests Quran burning in Sweden by Iraqi refugee

Quran burnings in Sweden have damaged the potential NATO member’s relationship with Turkey.
Women activists of Pakistan Markazi Muslim League take part in a protest rally in Lahore on Jan. 29, 2023.

Several Middle Eastern states on Thursday condemned the recent burning of a Quran in Sweden by an Iraqi refugee, potentially straining relations between the West and the Islamic world, while Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the holy book.

Background: On Wednesday, Iraqi refugee Salwan Momika destroyed a copy of the Quran outside a mosque in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. He stepped on the book and placed strips of bacon on it before lighting it on fire and kicking it while waiving Swedish flags, according to Agence France-Presse. Desecrating the Quran is forbidden in Islam, as is consuming pork.

The incident took place during Islam’s Eid al-Adha holiday as well as the annual hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Reactions: Momika’s actions elicited widespread condemnation in the Middle East on Thursday. Here is a breakdown of reactions in different countries.

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