Riots Erupt in Sweden Over Plans to Burn Quran at Far-Right Rally

More than 40 people were injured in Sweden over the violent riots over the weekend. The clashes were sparked by rallies organized by a far-right, anti-immigrant organization called Stram Kurs (Hard Line).

The group's leader, Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish politician, said they have burned a copy of the Quran and plan on doing it again.

In 2020, Paludan and his group burned a copy of the Quran in the city of Malmo, southern Sweden. A similar incident took place in Rinkeby, a Muslim-dominated neighborhood in Sweden.

"Today, Stram Kurs, burned the Quran in Swedish sh*t hole ghetto Rinkenby," Paludan posted on his Facebook. He also called Islam an evil "that has no place in Denmark, Sweden or any other civilized society."

This time, he plans on burning copies of the Quran again.

Muslim majority countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq, condemned the incident and called for Sweden to act swiftly. Saud Arabia called it a "deliberate abuse of the holy Quran by some extremists in Sweden."

Iran and Iraq summoned Sweden's ambassadors to lodge a formal protest against the incident.

The Foreign Ministry of Turkey called the incident "vile attacks" against the Quran. "There is still hesitation to prevent Islamophobic and racist provocative acts, and crimes of hatred openly and publicly are tolerated under the guise of freedom of expression," Turkey's Foreign Ministry added.

Anders Thornberg, the chief of Sweden's National Police, said he has never seen such violent riots occurring in multiple areas.

According to Thornberg, riots started on Friday, April 15, in Rinkeby, Orebro, Norrkoping, and Linkoping, followed by violent riots in Malmo on Saturday. Riots continued happening in Norrkoping and Linkoping until Sunday.

Earlier that Thursday, Paludan was in Jonkoping announcing his group's plan of burning another copy of the Quran. Church bells drowned Paludan's public appearance rang by priests counter-protesting him.

A police spokesperson said 26 police officers and 14 other individuals were injured in the riots over the weekend. They were also able to arrest 26 individuals related to the violence and destruction of properties.

The spokesperson added that the police expect to make more arrests as they analyze multiple footages of the riots.

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