Protesters set fire to a Koran in front of Iraqi embassy in Denmark
Protesters set fire to a copy of the Koran in front of Iraqi embassy in Denmark – days after similar stunt in Sweden triggered fury in Baghdad
- Two men belong to group called ‘Danish Patriots’, which staged protests before
- Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad over Koran burnings in Denmark and Sweden
Two protesters set fire to a copy of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, in front of the Iraqi embassy in the Danish capital today, risking a further deterioration of relations between the two countries.
The two protesters were from a group that calls itself ‘Danish Patriots’, which held a similar demonstration last week and livestreamed the events on Facebook.
Several thousand Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad on Saturday over the Koran burnings in the two Nordic countries, in a gathering called for by ruling Iraqi parties and armed groups, many close to Iran.
The organiser of today’s demonstration in Copenhagen stomped on the Koran and set it alight in a tin foil tray next to the Iraqi flag on the ground.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that people who desecrate the Koran should face the ‘most severe punishment’.
The two protesters were from a group that calls itself ‘Danish Patriots’, which held a similar demonstration last week and livestreamed the events on Facebook
They set fire to a copy of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, in front of the Iraqi embassy in the Danish capital today, risking a further deterioration of relations between the two countries
This comes after hundreds of Iraqis stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set it on fire just four days ago in protest against another planned burning of the Koran in Sweden Supporters of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party burn the effigy of Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 23
Protesters also took to the streets of Karachi, in Pakistan (pictured above on July 23), shortly after demonstrators angered by the planned Koran burning stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad
This comes after hundreds of Iraqis stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad and set it on fire just four days ago in protest against another planned burning of the Koran in Sweden.
Footage shows demonstrators waving flags and signs showing the influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr before they climbed over the fence and entered the embassy.
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom condemned the storming as ‘totally unacceptable’ while adding all staff in Baghdad were safe.
‘It is clear that the Iraqi authorities have seriously failed in their responsibility to protect diplomatic missions and personnel,’ a furious Billstrom said.
The demonstration was called by supporters of political leader Sadr to protest the second planned burning of the Koran in weeks in Stockholm, Sweden.
Sadr, one of Iraq’s most powerful figures, commands hundreds of thousands of followers whom he has at times called to the streets, including last summer when they occupied Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone and engaged in deadly clashes.
Footage shows demonstrators waving flags and signs showing the influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr before they climbed over the fence and entered the embassy to set it alight
A similar demonstration happened in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 23, where hundreds took to the streets angered by the Koran burnings.
Swedish police on Wednesday granted an application for a public meeting outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm on Thursday. Police said in the permit two people were expected to participate.
The two people planned to burn the Koran and the Iraqi flag at the public meeting. They included a man who set a Koran on fire outside a Stockholm mosque in June, Swedish news agency TT reported.
Swedish police denied several applications earlier this year for protests that were set to include burning the Koran, citing security concerns. Courts have since overturned the police’s decisions, saying such acts are protected by the country’s far-reaching freedom of speech laws.
On Thursday, hours after protesters stormed Sweden’s embassy in Baghdad, Iraqi immigrant Salwan Momika, 37, kicked a copy of the Koran outside Iraq’s embassy in Sweden after placing bacon between its pages but did not set it on fire.
Iraqi riot police try to disperse supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gathering for a protest outside the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on Thursday, July 20
Supporters of Sadr climb the fence outside the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on Thursday, July 20
Salwan Momika, 37, stomped and kicked the Koran but left the protest without burning pages of the book
Protesters clash with security forces as they gather near the Swedish embassy in Baghdad hours after the embassy was stormed and set on fire on Thursday, July 20
The Iraqi immigrant’s protest outside the embassy in Sweden sparked major backlash in Baghdad
It came after Iraq had ordered the Swedish ambassador in Baghdad to leave and decided to withdraw its envoy from Stockholm for permitting Koran-burning protest there, a government spokesman said on Thursday.
Prime minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani ‘instructed the Swedish ambassador in Baghdad to leave Iraqi territory’, his office said in a statement.
It said the decision to expel the envoy was ‘prompted by the Swedish government’s repeated permission for the burning of the holy Koran, insulting Islamic sanctities and the burning of the Iraqi flag’.
A few weeks ago, Momika burned a Koran outside Stockholm’s main mosque on June 28, during the Eid al-Adha holiday and the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
This caused dozens of Iraqi protesters to storm the Swedish embassy in Baghdad a day later.
Salwan Momika is seen on June 28 holding up a smoking Koran during his stunt
Under a heavy police presence and in front of a crowd of 200, Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old who fled to Sweden several years ago, put bacon in the pages of a Koran before stomping on it and setting several pages alight
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