Thursday, July 13, 2023

Quran Burning And Western Hypocrisy

By New Age Islam Staff Writer 13 July 2023 1. Sweden Contemplates Banning Scripture Burning Under Political Compulsions Not For Respect of Muslim Religious Sentiments 2. Turkey Approves Of Sweden's Admission Into NATO After Meeting In Lithuania ----- The Swedish foreign ministry said that burning of any holy text is "disrespectful and offensive." ---- After a year's opposition to Sweden's entry into NATO alliance, Turkey has finally agreed to approve of its admission into it after the meeting of the heads of the two states in Lithuania. Turkey has agreed to approve of Sweden's membership after Sweden made significant changes in its anti-terror laws and lifted an arms embargo on Turkey. And most important of all, Sweden has agreed to change its laws relating to burning of religious scriptures as a means of protest. Last month, an Iraq-origin man named Salwan Momika had burned the holy Quran in front of the central mosque of Stockholm, protest against Islam. This had sparked world wide protests and condemnations but the Swedish government had said that the country's laws permit such acts under the right to freedom of expression enshrined under the constitution. The man had been granted permission for burning the Quran by paying the protest permit fee of $31. Earlier in January this year, the dual citizenship holding Danish politician Rasmus Paludan had also burned the Quran in front of the Turkish embassy under police protection. Paludan is the head of the political party Stram Krus that had taken part in Denmark's national elections in 2019 and had got only 1.8 percent votes. His political campaign runs on Islamophobic issues like rising Muslim immigration and population and the threat of terrorism in Denmark and Sweden. He, therefore, resorted to Quran burning as a means of increasing his popular support. The Quran burning by the Iraqi man in Stockholm seems also to have a political angle. Last year, Sweden and Finland had applied to NATO for its membership after Russia invaded Ukraine.Sweden and Finland felt a security threat by the,Russian aggression and wanted to join NATO. But Russia had invaded Ukraine because the US had been pressurising Ukraine to join NATO. Russia felt a security threat by the increasing presence of NATO in its neighbourhood. Russia invaded Ukraine to prevent it from joining NATO. However, when Sweden and Finland requested NATO's membership, Turkey opposed its plea because Turkey has been accusing Sweden of harbouring fundraisers for Kurdish Workers Party, a designated terrorist organisation and providing asylum to those allegedly involved in the failed coup against Erdogan in 2016. When Rasmus Paludan burned the Quran in January, he did it against Turkey's opposition to Sweden's e tey into the NATO. Since Turkey is a Muslim country, Turkey was enraged by Quran burning and Erdogan said that those who disrespect the holy Quran should not expect Turkey to favour their entry into the NATO. Since a country can join NATO only when all the member nations give their approval, Turkey's opposition scuttled Sweden's bid to join the NATO. This made Sweden contemplate changing some laws of the country to appease Erdogan. It changed its anti-terrorism laws so that people involved in the funding of the Kurdish Workers Party and in the 2016 coup could be extradited. Last year the extradition of a Turkish journalist allegedly involved in the coup was stayed by the Swedish Supreme Court. It also lifted an arms embargo against Turkey. But when all was going fine, the Quran burning by an Iraqi man again caused a hiccup in the process. The Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan said that Sweden was causing problems instead of solving it. He hinted at the Quran burning protest in Stockholm. In January, Finland's foreign minister had accused Russia of being behind the Quran burning protest by Rasmus Paludan. A media report said that Chang Frick, a former journalist associated with Russia Today had payed for the protest permit fee for Paludan. According to a report in a website, Frick had also boasted of being close to Russian President Putin. This raised the doubt that Russia was behind the Quran burning incident to provoke Turkey to oppose Sweden's entry into the NATO. The doubt was further strengthened when another Quran burning incident happened on 28th June on the day of Eid-al-Adha. It seemed that since Sweden had taken some steps to remove Turkey's misconceptions about Sweden, the Quran burning was orchestrated to provoke Tukey once again. However, Sweden hinted at its plan to change its blasphemy laws so that burning of religious scriptures as a means of protest could be banned. The Minister for Justice of Sweden told a newspaper that the government was contemplating on banning the burning of religious scriptures in view of the internal security threat perceived due to the recent incidents of Quran burning in the country. He said that the Swedish police had rejected some applications for protests including Quran burning due to security threat this year but the courts had overturned the decisions of the police on the ground that such steps guaranteed Sweden's laws of freedom of expression. He further said that the government was taking stock of the situation and would soon decide whether the existing system is appropriate. He admitted that the Quran burning incident became an obstacle in Sweden's admission in NATO alliance. Obviously, Sweden has agreed to change its law relating to protest to prevent more Quran burning incidents in future because of political reasons, not for respect of the,Quran or other religious scriptures. According to reports, after the,Quran burning incident, some applications for burning religious scriptures by Muslims were also received by the Swedish police. This may also be the reason the Swedish government has planned to change its laws. It should be noted here that the same cartoonist who had made anti-Islam cartoons for Charlie Hebdo newspaper had also made blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Jesus but the newspaper had refused to publish it. Similarly, when the Swedish government came to know that now applications for burning the Bible had also been made and that the Quran burning has become an obstacle in its membership of NATO, it has woken up to its internal security threat. The hypocrisy of the western nations on religious tolerance and freedom of expression has once again been exposed. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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