Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan, leader of the right-wing extremist Hard Deal party, burned three books of the Koran in different places in Copenhagen. This happened on January 27, according to the Danish edition of Avisen.
The first book was burnt in a mosque on Dortevej Street in the northwestern quarter of Copenhagen, another book was burned near the Turkish embassy in Österbro, and a third book was burned at the Russian consulate, located 100 meters from the Turkish diplomatic mission.
According to the publication, during all three “performances” a large number of police were present: about 50 officers and several cars. However, the police made no arrests.
At that time, people gathered on the streets who tried to drown out Paludan’s speeches by turning on loud Arabic music during his speech, which obviously annoyed him. As the politician himself explained, he is holding his actions against Turkey’s blocking of Sweden’s entry into NATO, and believes that they will have an effect.
Paludan’s previous action was held on January 21 in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, where he also staged a public burning of a copy of the Koran. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, commenting on this situation, pointed out that freedom of expression is established in their state, but this does not mean that the country’s authorities support the beliefs of the protesters.
As a response, a protest rally was held at the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, during which the activists defiantly burned the Swedish flag. In turn, the press secretary of the President of Turkey, Ibrahim Kalin, said that the burning of the Koran is a clear manifestation of hatred.
On January 29, Muslim activists burned the Danish flag in central London. The action was a response to the destruction of sacred books by radicals near the embassies in Sweden and Denmark. Arab countries and organizations condemned the provocations.
Muftis of Russia on January 24 called the burning of the Koran in Sweden an insult to all Muslims. The Russian Foreign Ministry also condemned the burning of the Koran. The department explained that this is not the first performance of radicals against Islam in European countries.