The Danish government announced on Sunday July 30 that it wanted to limit possible new demonstrations planning desecrations of the Koran, which have fueled tensions with the Muslim world, highlighting the security problems they entail.
Several recent demonstrations in Sweden or Denmark involving burnings or other desecrations of the Muslim holy book have raised diplomatic tensions between the two Scandinavian countries and several Arab countries.
Stressing that such demonstrations play into the hands of extremists and sow division, the Danish government intends ” explore “ the possibility of intervening in situations “where, for example, other countries, cultures and religions are insulted, and which may have significant negative consequences for Denmark, especially in terms of security”the foreign ministry wrote in a statement. “This must of course be done within the framework of freedom of expression protected by the Constitution”he added, emphasizing that this is one of Denmark’s most important values.
The Danish Foreign Ministry notes that the protests have “reaches a level where Denmark, in many parts of the world, is perceived as a country that facilitates the insult and denigration of the cultures, religions and traditions of other countries”. According to him, the “main purpose” of some of these manifestations is to provoke and “could have significant consequences”.
At the end of July, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran summoned representatives of Swedish diplomatic missions to their countries. Algeria has also summoned the representatives of Denmark.
In a separate statement, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Sunday he had been in close contact with his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen, recalling that a similar process was already underway in Sweden.
“We have also started to analyze the legal situation in order to consider measures to strengthen our national security and the security of Swedes in Sweden and around the world”recalled Ulf Kristersson on Instagram.
Sweden on Thursday ordered its armies and administrations to strengthen their preparations against terrorism amid deteriorating security, after several episodes where the Koran was desecrated.
At the end of June, Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi refugee in Sweden, set fire to pages of the Koran outside the main mosque in Stockholm. Last week, he again stomped on and tore up a copy of the book in front of the Iraqi Embassy to show his opposition to its precepts.
In reaction to the authorization given by the Swedish police to hold this event, hundreds of Iraqis invaded and set fire to the Swedish embassy in Baghdad. The Swedish ambassador was expelled from Iraq and Iran has indicated that it will not accept a new ambassador from the Scandinavian country on its territory.
At the end of July in Denmark, the far-right Danske Patrioter movement posted a video of a man desecrating and burning what appears to be a Koran and trampling on an Iraqi flag.
After a first similar initiative a few days earlier, nearly a thousand demonstrators had gathered at night in Baghdad. They had tried to walk in the direction of the Danish embassy, but the Iraqi police had dispersed them, using truncheons and tear gas.
Saudi Arabia and Iraq have called for an extraordinary meeting, to be held on Monday, of the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to address the desecration of the Koran in the two Scandinavian countries.