Quran burnings lead to riots in Sweden

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


The three days that comprise Good Friday through Easter Sunday were marked by violence in multiple Swedish cities as riots erupted after members of Stram Kurs, a far-right Danish political group, burned Qurans.

According to a report by the BBC, more than 40 people, at least four of whom are minors and 26 of whom are police officers, have been injured.

Rasmus Paludan, Stram Kurs’ leader and a Danish-Swedish politician, has a long history of anti-Muslim sentiment and of burning copies of the Quran. He’s also been jailed for racism in Denmark.

The violence began in the cities of Linköping and Norrköping, but extended to Rinkeby, Orebro, and Malmo, when members of the Islamic religion began lashing out violently at the sign of disrespect shown to the Muslim text.

Videos began circulating over the weekend that showed the level to which the violence had risen.

One verified Twitter user posted simply “Welcome to #Sweden.”

NPR reports that Swedish law enforcement believes the violence was caused by gangs who have a reputation for targeting police.

“We suspect that those involved have links to criminal gangs,” NPR quoted National Police Commissioner Anders Thornberg as saying. He added, “I have been in touch with the public prosecutor to prosecute these individuals.”

Numerous Muslim majority nations have officially protested the burning of the Quran but did not find it necessary to decry the violent reaction.

“[The burning of Qurans] was considered a provocation to the feelings of Muslims and extremely offensive to their sanctities…this matter has serious repercussions on the relations between Sweden and Muslims in general,” reads a statement by the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates issued similar condemnations of Paludan specifically or Sweden more broadly.

Stram Kurs, which translates to “Tight Course” or “Hard Line” in English, is effectively a single-issue party and runs primarily on an anti-Islamic and anti-immigration platform.

In 2020, the group sparked off riots in Rinkeby when they live-streamed the burning of a Quran.