UAE summons Swedish ambassador in protest against Quran burning

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday summoned the ambassador of Sweden to the UAE in protest against the burning of copies of the Holy Quran by extremists in Sweden, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi Minister of State for International Cooperation, summoned Liselott Andersson, ambassador of Sweden to the UAE.

Al Hashemi reiterated the UAE’s rejection of all practices that offend religions, stressing the need to respect religious symbols and avoid incitement and polarisation.

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The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) has strongly condemned the act and underlined the importance of collaborative efforts to promote the values of dialogue, tolerance and coexistence, and renouncing hate speech and violence.

This is the third Arab country summoning Swedish diplomats regarding the incident.

On Sunday, April 17, the Iraq and Iran Foreign Ministry summoned the Chargé d’Affairs of the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad, against the background of the incident, and considered it a “provocation of the feelings of Muslims and an extremely sensitive offense to their sanctities.”

The incident of burning a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden drew wide Arab and Islamic condemnations, amid warnings of the seriousness of the incident, which fuels feelings of hostility and division in societies.

On Thursday, April 14, the far-right group, which is led by Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Holy Quran, in southern Linkoping in Sweden, under police protection.

On Sunday, April 17, Rasmus Paludan had planned to burn copies of the Quran in towns and cities. Paludan cancelled his Sunday rally after local police told him they would not be able to ensure safety. 

Following the burning of a copy of the Quran, Sweden witnessed clashes between police and protesters in the past days, during which a number of policemen were injured, and several cars were set on fire.

Cars are engulfed by flames after protests broke out at Rosengard in Malmo, Sweden. (Photo: Johan Nilsson/AP)

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