quotBurning the Koran is legalquot Swedens slap in the face

"Burning the Koran is legal": Sweden’s slap in the face for Erdogan

there Sweden distanced himself from the episode that took place in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm last Saturday, when the Swedish far-right politician, Rasmus Paludanhe gave Fire to a copy of Koran. the foreign minister, Tobias BillstromHowever, he pointed out that such an act, namely the burning of a holy book, in this case the Koran, was legally permitted domestically. The fact generated the ire of Turkey which, after the Paludan demonstration, could hamper negotiations on Sweden’s and Finland’s accession to NATO.

Sweden’s position

Directly from Brussels, where the Foreign Affairs Council meets, Billstrom clarified: “The Swedish government does not support by no means the destruction by fire of scriptures considered sacred.” At the same time, the minister added that “in Sweden we have freedom of speech” and therefore, legally speaking, “this case (burning of the Koran ed) It is allowed“However, we have made it clear that we do not take sides with those who did it,” said Billstrom, who tried to find it complicated diplomatic balance in a very delicate situation.

The reference, as expected, refers to the provocation of the politician from Swedish extreme right Paludan setting a copy of the Coron on fire in front of the Turkish diplomatic mission in Stockholm. After obtaining permission for a rally, the party leader stream course lit the holy book to protest Ankara’s veto on entry Born from Sweden.

Turkey’s response

“The burning of the Koran is a hate crime and against humanity. Despite all our warnings, the fact that the demonstration was allowed paves the way for hatred of Islam. The attack on sacred values ​​is an example of modern barbarism, not freedom,” said Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman and close adviser to the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It cannot be ruled out that the affair could have serious negative consequences for Stockholm’s already problematic path towards the Atlantic Alliance. The Swedish authorities could have blocked the demonstration but still decided to authorize it in the name of freedom of expression. Among other things, Paluden had announced that he would burn the Koran in front of the Turkish embassy, ​​while Ankara had repeatedly asked for it withdraw Permission.

Negotiate uphill

As if that weren’t enough, the Directorate of Religious Affairs in Turkey (Diyanet) and other Islamic countries are organizing to bring them forward international judicial authorities Sweden. According to the announcement by the head of Diyanet, Ali Erbas, the cause will not only be initiated by Turkey, but by all countries that did not feel attacked by the Paluden demonstration.

“We intend to bring this act to justice along with others 120 countries. We are preparing a letter for mailing to European intellectuals and organizing a meeting with representatives of the Organization of Islamic Countries. We need to show a response to the spreadIslamophobia in Europe,” said Erbas.

In the meantime, we recall that Erdogan did not agree to greenlight Sweden’s entry into NATO in exchange for warplanes f 16 that Ankara would expect as part of an agreement with the White House. Washington’s unofficial proposal to hand over the fighters to Sweden against the green light has so far failed to appeal to Turkey, which would not have joined before and certainly will not accept now. After the Koran was set on fire and after the Kurdish demonstrations occurred in the country.

Erdogan’s words

Erdogan’s response to the Swedish authorities was not long in coming: “Anyone who insults sacred values ​​should not expect it support to join NATO”.

“We have to address this demonstration in Sweden, where even a Koran was burned. Something for which personal rights and freedoms were brought up. However, when we talk about rights and freedoms, nobody can take that away freedom to harass neither Muslims nor believers of other faiths,” thundered the Turkish president.

Erdogan continued in his reply: “What happened in Sweden is an insult to personal rights and freedoms, especially of Muslims. Taking a stand against this act is our duty, as a people and as a nation. Whoever authorized this scandalous demonstration cannot expect any kind of support for joining NATO.”

“Know they have it crossed the line dishonors us with a low blow. If you really believe that you respect freedom, then you should respect the beliefs of Muslims. If they don’t do that, they will never have our support to join NATO,” concluded the Turkish President at the end of the Council of Ministers.