Kristiansand: Days after the desecration of Quran in the Norwegian town of Kristiansand, emotions in the small, peaceful town of less than 100,000 are at an all-time high, with much of the general community condemning the hate crime.
An anti-Islam rally turned violent on November 16, when its leader attempted to set a copy of the Holy Quran on fire. The demonstration was held by a little known far-right extremist group ‘Stop Islamisation of Norway’ (SIAN) in Kristiansand.
Videos went viral on social media showing Qusay Rashed, a Palestinian Muslim youth settled in Norway, jumping over a fence and kicking Lars Thorsen, the SIAN leader who was setting a copy of the Holy book on fire.
However, members of the Muslim community have received an outpouring of support from the Norwegian public after the incident.
While condemning the incident, the Mayor of Kristiansand expressed compassion for the city’s Muslim community. Mayor Harald Furre termed the incident provocative and regrettable.
Showing solidarity with Muslims, members of the local Christian community also assembled outside the mosque in Kristiansand on Friday.
According to Talal Omar, a senior leader of the Muslim Union in Kristiansand, a huge number of people including politicians, Christian leaders, and ordinary citizens, have shown their support for the area’s Muslim community. They contacted the local Muslim population to show that all Norwegians stand with them.