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Thursday, February 22, 2024  
11 Shaban 1445  

United Nations to debate Quran desecration stunt on Pakistan’s request

Body will discuss rise in premeditated public acts of religious hatred today
Overview of the session of the Human Rights Council during the speech of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet at the United Nations in Geneva on Feb 27, 2020. Reuters/File
Overview of the session of the Human Rights Council during the speech of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet at the United Nations in Geneva on Feb 27, 2020. Reuters/File

The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an urgent meeting on the desecration of the Quran outside a mosque in Swedish capital Stockholm today (Tuesday), following a request from Pakistan, Al Jazeera reported.

The debate on the rise of religious hatred will likely take place later this week, Pascal Sim, a spokesperson for the Geneva-based UN Council, told a press briefing on Tuesday.

The desecration of the Quran took place outside Stockholm’s main mosque last week during a protest authorised by the police.

Salwan Momika, 37, an Iraqi refugee in Sweden desecrated the Quran as Muslims around the world began marking the Eidul Azha holiday and as the Hajj in Saudi Arabia was drawing to a close.

The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, which is meeting in session until July 14, will change its agenda to stage an urgent debate on Pakistan’s request, Al Arabiya News reported.

“The UN Human Rights Council will hold an urgent debate to ‘discuss the alarming rise in premeditated and public acts of religious hatred, as manifested by the current desecration of the holy Quran in some European and other countries’,” Sim told reporters, citing the wording of the request.

“This urgent debate will be convened following a request of Pakistan, sent on behalf of several members of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, including those that are members of the Human Rights Council. The urgent debate will most likely be convened this week at a date and time to be determined by the bureau of the Human Rights Council that is meeting today [Tuesday].”

The Swedish government condemned the “Islamophobic” act, after an international Islamic body called for measures to avoid future desecration of the Quran.

Read more: Pope Francis condemns burning of Holy Quran

Numerous Muslim countries, including many in the Middle East, also reacted to the incident, calling on Stockholm to step up measures against religious hate.

Morocco went beyond a statement of condemnation and recalled its ambassador to Sweden for an indefinite period.

Morocco’s foreign ministry also called on Sweden’s chargé d’affaires in Rabat and expressed its “strong condemnation of this attack and its rejection of this unacceptable act”, according to state media.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “We will teach the arrogant Western people that it is not freedom of expression to insult the sacred values of Muslims.”

Ankara is currently holding up Sweden’s application for North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership on accusations that Sweden harbours people Turkey considers “terrorists”.

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara on Tuesday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told reporters that he was concerned because Sweden was unable to prevent provocations.

Fidan said that Turkey expects Sweden to fulfil its commitments under a deal struck at the NATO Madrid summit last year, in order to be able to join the military alliance.

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Islamophobia

UN Human Rights Council

holy quran

Quran burning

Organization for Islamic Cooperation

United Nations Human Rights Council

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