Just a day after demonstrators desecrated the Holy Book in front of the Iraqi embassy in Denmark, more copies of the Quran were burnt in front of the Egyptian and Turkish embassies in Copenhagen Tuesday, anguishing Muslims all over the world.
In a statement indicating clean-chit to the perpetrators of such acts under so-called freedom of speech, Denmark and Sweden said they deplore the burning but cannot prevent it as it falls under rules of “protecting freedom of speech”.
Protestors last week, lit up the Swedish embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad as a response to the unholy act, which enraged billions of Muslims, according to a Reuters report.
Tuesday’s demonstration in Copenhagen by a group called “Danish Patriots” followed Quran burnings the group staged Monday and last week in front of the Iraqi embassy. Two such incidents have taken place in Sweden over the past month.
Iraq’s foreign ministry Monday called on authorities of EU countries to “quickly reconsider so-called freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate in light of the Quran burnings.”
Turkey Monday said it strongly condemned what it called a “despicable attack” on the Quran and called on Denmark to take necessary measures to prevent this “hate crime” against Islam.
The Egyptian foreign ministry Tuesday summoned Sweden’s charge d’affaires to condemn the desecration of the Qurans.
“People benefit from an extended freedom of speech when they demonstrate,” University of Copenhagen law Professor Trine Baumbach told Reuters, explaining Danish laws.
“It does not just include verbal expression. People can express themselves in various ways, such as through the burning of items.”
The organizer of Monday’s demonstration in Copenhagen stomped on the Quran and set it alight in a tin foil tray next to the Iraqi flag on the ground.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday that people who desecrate the Quran should face the “most severe punishment”
Weeks earlier, Pope Francis also condemned the burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden, in June saying that the vile act had “angered and disgusted” him.
“Any book considered holy should be respected to respect those who believe in it,” the pope said in an interview with the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al Ittihad.
“Freedom of speech should never be used as a means to despise others and allowing that is rejected and condemned.”