NICE, France (AA) – Academics and activists have said that the incidents of Quran desecration remind them of Europe’s dark past of religious persecution.
Rasmus Paludan, an extremist Islamophobic Swedish-Danish politician, staged an incident desecrating a copy of the Muslim holy book on Saturday outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm with both police protection and permission from the Swedish government.
Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Swiss academic, said that the incidents were not the first of their kind to occur, and that similar acts had been perpetrated in the Netherlands and the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention center.
“It is not only a will to clash ideas but also to humiliate and dishonor,” he said, adding it reminds “us of the dark hours of Europe at the time of the Second World War and the treatment of the Jews.”
According to Ramadan, “these types of provocations” aiming for confrontation are “self-fulfilling prophecies where we trigger the emotions and the reaction of someone else” by harming sacred values, “in order to prove that they (these people) are not one of ours.”
Lawyer Rafik Chekkat, the founder of an anti-Islamophobia platform, also compared the acts to Europe’s 20th century anti-semitism.
“The anti-Muslim racism helps today reconfigure the political field in many countries in Europe, by letting far-right groups extend their audience,” he said.
For Chekkat, the Muslim question and Islamophobia have become “catalysts” of the European far-right groups’ reconfiguration.