STOCKHOLM (AA) – Sweden has criticized the burning of a copy of the Quran by a Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist in Stockholm, but defended its decision to allow the planned act to go ahead.
In a Twitter post on late Saturday, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said: “Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy. But what is legal is not necessarily appropriate.
“Burning books that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act. I want to express my sympathy for all Muslims who are offended by what has happened in Stockholm today,” he said.
Likewise, Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said on Twitter: “Islamophobic provocations are appalling. Sweden has a far-reaching freedom of expression, but it does not imply that the Swedish Government, or myself, support the opinions expressed.”
The leader of the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line), was granted permission by the Swedish government to burn the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on Saturday.
In response to Sweden’s permission, Ankara canceled Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson’s upcoming visit to Türkiye.