Riyadh/Cairo: Massive protests against the burning of Quran, The Muslim Holy Book, in Stockholm continued all through Sunday with the latest to join being Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti and Al-Azhar Egypt.
“These demagogic practices develop hatred and serve the agendas of extremism and terrorism and the sources of hatred around the world”, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, who is also the Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia, said.
The Grand Mufti reiterated that these barbaric and provocative practices will only increase Muslims’ faith with their belief in the status of the Holy Qur’an in their hearts, as the Holy Qur’an constitutes the source of legislation and the correct approach that guides good speech and spreading the values of peace and coexistence among nations.
Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, the oldest and foremost seat of learning Islamic studies also condemned the burning of the Holy Qur’an by Swedish extremists.
It said on Sunday that the Qur’an will “remain in its glory” as a “guiding book for all humanity, guiding them to the values of goodness, truth and beauty.”
The repeated incident “indicates the complicity of Swedish authorities” with far-right figures in an attempt to “repeatedly and deliberately offend religious sanctities and provoke Muslims around the world,” Al-Azhar said.
Rasmus Paludan, the head of the Danish far-right political group Hard Line, led a protest in which he burned a copy of the holy book Saturday. The protest was held against Sweden's decision to join NATO for which it is seeking supports from the members including Turkey. It however turned into anti-Islam and anti-Muslim tirade.
Paludan, surrounded by police, attacked Islam and immigration during a nearly hour-long tirade before setting fire to the holy book with a lighter. Nearby, about 100 people gathered for a calm counter protest.
The “criminal acts of savagery” will not undermine the sanctity of the Holy Qur’an in the heart of a civilized person, Al-Azhar said.
It added that the “grudges of the misguided criminals and the actions of the promoters of fanaticism and sick souls, who have black records in the history of fanaticism, hatred, and wars of religion, will not affect the sanctity of the Holy Qur’an.”
While denouncing the incident, Qatar also lashed out at Swedish authorities for allowing a far-right protester to burn the holy Quran believed to be word of Allah, the Almighty.
“Qatar condemns and denounces in the strongest terms the Swedish authorities’ permission to burn a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Qatar said in a statement.
“It also emphasises that this vile incident is an act of incitement and a serious provocation to the feelings of more than two billion Muslims in the world,” the statement added.
Pakistan too had condemned what he called the "abhorrent" act of the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden, stressing that the move hurt the sentiments of the 1.5 billion-strong Muslim community across the globe.
The latest condemnations came after Turkey and several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait, denounced the incident. The demand from the Sweden authorities to take action against the right-wingers was also made from OIC, the 57-member strong representative body of Muslim countries.
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