Sweden bans protest against Koran burning

Sweden bans protest against Koran burning

Trkiye has said it may block Stockholm’s NATO application over the desecration of the Islamic holy book

Swedish police have denied anti-Islam activists permission to burn the Koran in front of the Turkish embassy, ​​citing an increase in terror threats following a similar act last month. Ankara threatened to block Sweden’s application for NATO membership after last month’s protest, which was allowed by the authorities.

Sweden’s national police force announced on Tuesday that the protest application had been rejected, explaining that “such a gathering is judged to be capable of causing serious disruption to the security of the kingdom”.

Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan, who also holds Swedish citizenship, led a protest in Stockholm last month where he burned the Islamic holy book in front of the Turkish embassy. Swedish politicians condemned Paludan’s stunt, but the authorities allowed it to continue, and Foreign Minister Tobias Billström referred to the country’s “far-reaching freedom of expression laws”.

The protest set off a wave of anger across the Muslim world. In a Report on Tuesday, the Security Police – the agency responsible for espionage and counter-terrorism – said it had seen “an increase in the number of terrorist threats” after the burning.

“Sweden is judged to be in greater focus than before for violent Islamism,” the authority stated.

The National Police said it took the decision to reject the application for a second protest after discussions with the Security Police.

In addition to clearly increasing the terrorist threat, Paludan’s demonstration in January jeopardized Sweden’s bid to join NATO. Sweden and Finland both renounced their neutrality and applied to join the US-led military bloc last summer, but Stockholm’s refusal to ban Paludan from publicly burning the Muslim scriptures prompted Ankara to cancel an accession meeting with the two Nordic nations.

Türkiye had already clashed with both countries, refusing to ratify their membership bid until they agreed to extradite dozens of alleged terrorists and lift an arms embargo previously imposed on the country. In light of the Koran burning, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared last week that “as long as [Sweden allows] my holy book, the Koran, to be burned and torn… we will not say yes to your entry into NATO.”

Although the United States is the dominant power in NATO, all 30 member states must vote unanimously to accept new nations into the alliance.


Source: sn.dk

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