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Nordic governments search to de-escalate pressure as extra Korans are burned

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more Korans are burned

Protesters maintain copies of the Koran as they exhibit exterior the Consulate Normal of Sweden in Istanbul, Turkey, July 30, 2023. REUTERS

COPENHAGEN/STOCKHOLM — Extra Koran burnings came about in Sweden and Denmark on Monday because the governments of the 2 Nordic international locations mentioned they had been analyzing methods to legally restrict such acts in a bid to de-escalate rising tensions with a number of Muslim international locations.

Denmark and Sweden have seen a number of protests in current weeks during which copies of the Koran had been burned, or in any other case broken, prompting outrage in Muslim international locations and calls for that the Nordic governments put a cease to the burnings.

The Danish authorities mentioned on Sunday it could search to discover a “authorized software” that might allow authorities to intervene in such protests, if deemed to ivolve “vital unfavorable penalties for Denmark, not least with regard to safety”.

“The truth that we’re signaling each in Denmark and overseas that we’re engaged on it is going to hopefully assist de-escalate the issues we face,” Overseas Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen informed journalists following a gathering with international coverage audio system of parliament on Monday.

“It isn’t as a result of we really feel pressured to take action, however it’s our political evaluation that it’s in the very best curiosity of all of us,” Rasmussen mentioned. “We shouldn’t simply sit and look ahead to this to blow up.”

Even so, Koran burnings came about in each international locations on Monday. In Stockholm, an Iraqi refugee behind a number of protests in current weeks appeared to burn a duplicate of the Koran exterior the Swedish parliament. In Denmark, anti-Muslim protesters burned the Koran exterior the Saudi Arabian embassy in Copenhagen.

The Nordic international locations have deplored the burnings of the Koran however can’t forestall it underneath constitutional legal guidelines defending freedom of speech.

Nevertheless, each governments have now mentioned they’re contemplating authorized modifications that may enable authorities to forestall additional burnings in particular conditions.

The Swedish authorities mentioned this month it’s analyzing an analogous resolution, however right-wing events in each international locations have denounced the initiatives, with some saying freedom of speech can’t be compromised.

Swedish Overseas Minister Tobias Billstrom mentioned on Monday that he had despatched letters to all 57 international locations within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to elucidate Sweden’s proper to meeting and condemned Islamophobic acts.

OIC international ministers convened in a unprecedented session on Monday to debate the current developments the place it strongly condemned the Koran burnings.

It additionally mentioned in a press release after the assembly ended that it referred to as upon member states to take acceptable motion, whether or not political or financial, in international locations the place the Koran is being desecrated.

After the assembly, Billstrom and his Danish counterpart Rasmussen individually wrote on X, previously Twitter, that they might proceed their dialogue with the OIC.

Billstrom additionally wrote in his publish that Sweden would research the resolutions and suggestions made by the OIC fastidiously.

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