Middle East Held Protest Against Quran Burning Issue On Friday

Middle East Protest: Protests were held in several Muslim-majority countries on Friday (January 27) to condemn the recent burning of Islam’s holy book by far-right activists in Sweden and the Netherlands. Protests in countries including Pakistan, Iraq and Lebanon ended after peaceful dispersal of those involved.

In Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, police officers stopped some protesters trying to march towards the Swedish embassy. Meanwhile, in Beirut, around 200 angry protesters burned the flags of Sweden and the Netherlands outside the blue-domed Mohammed al-Amin Mosque in Beirut’s central Martyrs’ Square.

Shia cleric gave statement
Iraq’s powerful Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr asked on Friday (January 27) whether freedom of speech meant hurting other people’s beliefs. He asked why burning the rainbow flag of homosexuals does not represent freedom of speech.” The cleric said that burning the Quran would bring divine wrath. Hundreds of his supporters gathered outside a mosque in Baghdad waving copies of the Quran.

holy book quran lit
Earlier this month, a Danish far-right activist was given permission by police to protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, where he burned the Koran, Islam’s holy book. A few days later, Edwin Wagensveld, the Dutch leader of the far-right Pegida movement in the Netherlands, tore pages from a Quran book near the Dutch parliament.

Muslims started protesting
The move enraged millions of Muslims around the world and triggered protests. Swedish authorities have stated that the Swedish constitution guarantees freedom of speech and gives people the right to publicly express their views, although incitement to violence or hate speech is not permitted. Protesters will have to apply to the police for a permit for a public meeting. The police can only refuse such a permit on exceptional grounds, such as a risk to public safety.

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