A woman was arrested and detained by authorities in Sweden on August 18th after attempting to stop another Quran-burning demonstration, this time outside the Iranian Embassy in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, by the notorious Iraqi protester and refugee Salwan Momika by spraying him with a fire extinguisher.
Swedish police detained a woman Friday who sprayed Salwan Momika with a fire extinguisher as he staged another Quran-burning protest outside the Iranian Embassy in Stockholm.https://t.co/xdBOEyWhxE
— Mobashra (@mobbiemobes) August 21, 2023
Video of the scene showed the woman, who was not identified by the Swedish police, rushing up to 37-year-old Momika and spraying him with white powder during a protest before police in plainclothes intercepted him and led her way. Stunned but unhurt by the woman’s actions, Momika continued his demonstration, which the Swedish police had permitted.
I quite like @ashoswai’s balanced takes but he gets it but wrong here
We can not go on legitimising attacks against someone who’s not doing anything illegal, however small they may be
Desecrating Quran is not a crime, you can disagree with but not by justifying attacks against it https://t.co/t0wFTzZYSL
— Ali Malik (@apostateali) August 19, 2023
Police spokesperson Towe Hägg said the woman was detained for disturbing public order and assaulting a police officer. Aside from the woman, a young Iraqi man wearing boxing gloves confronted Momika and attacked him because of his Quran-burning protests. Clips of the incident became viral on X, the social networking platform previously known as Twitter.
An Iraqi man trained by boxing attacked Salwan Momika, who recently burned the Quran, in a Swedish street. pic.twitter.com/8tMsxnLhTT
— HumanDilemma (@HumanDilemma_) August 21, 2023
Besides his protest outside the Iranian Embassy in Stockholm, Momika’s latest Quran-burning protest was conducted in Mynttorget, a public square in Stockholm where many government buildings and the Swedish Royal Palace were located. He performed this act with 48-year-old Salwan Najem, another Iraqi immigrant who became a Swedish citizen in 2005.
Momika gained controversy for his series of anti-Islam, Quran-burning protests in Sweden over the past few months that sparked outrage in many Muslim countries and jeopardized the Nordic country’s diplomatic relations with Muslim-majority countries.
There are billions of Qurans in the world, millions printed every year. He burnt one or two. What's the problem?
The problem is the defiance. Someone isn't doing as they are told, that's what you can't stand.
— Michael j Hunt (@yesihavereadit) August 23, 2023
Although Swedish authorities allowed Momika to conduct his Quran-burning protests, citing freedom of speech, the Swedish government plans to file preliminary charges of hate speech against him. They are reviewing his residence permit after receiving information about him previously having a leadership role in a Christian militia group that was part of a Shia Muslim umbrella organization with close ties to Iran.
The Swedish government also opened an inquiry on August 18 for allowing police to reject applications for protests over national security concerns. The country’s Justice Minister, Gunnar Strömmer, said the country, while having no plans to reintroduce blasphemy laws repealed in the 70s, will study legislation in countries such as Norway, the Netherlands, and France, which he said has extensive freedom of speech but has a “greater scope for including security in this type of assessment.”
Anyone who insults the holy books should be punished so that no one else dares to insult the holy books.
— elahe_shiri (@Elaheshiri71) August 22, 2023
His protests also led to many countries calling for a boycott of Swedish products, and they raised security issues for Swedish nationals abroad and even for Sweden itself. Last July, the Swedish Embassy in Iraq was stormed and torched by hundreds of protesters, primarily supporters of populist Shia cleric and militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.
muslims have no place in Europe
— Norvin Hobbs (@NorvinHobbs14) August 22, 2023
Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, have warned British travelers from going to Sweden over possible terrorist attacks amidst al-Qaeda's calls to carry out terrorist attacks in Sweden and Denmark in revenge for the recent Quran-burning protests by Momika and other protesters. The US Embassy in Sweden also issued similar warnings of “possible retaliatory attacks by terrorists” for American travelers.