African nation recalls envoy to Sweden after Koran burning

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry has accused the Swedish government of authorizing the “irresponsible” act of destroying a copy of the Koran

African nation recalls envoy to Sweden after Koran burning

African nation recalls envoy to Sweden after Koran burning

Morocco has accused Stockholm of authorizing the “irresponsible” act of destroying the Islamic holy book

Morocco has recalled its ambassador to Sweden for an “indefinite period” following the burning of a Koran at a demonstration in Stockholm on Wednesday. The incident took place as Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Adha, one of Islam’s most significant festivals.

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had also summoned Sweden’s chargé d’affaires in Rabat and expressed the kingdom’s “most vigorous condemnation of this offense and rejection of this unacceptable act.”

This new offensive and irresponsible act disregards the feelings of more than a billion Muslims during this sacred period of the great pilgrimage to Mecca and the blessed feast of Eid Al-Adha,” the ministry stated.

Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi immigrant, is said to have organized the protest, in which he burned a copy of the Koran in front of a mosque in the Swedish capital.

Momika had previously expressed his intention to tear up and torch the Koran, calling for a ban on the holy book, and had received permission from the police to do so on the grounds of free expression.

He is seen in a video waving the pages while speaking through a megaphone to a crowd of onlookers in the presence of security officers.

In January this year, the torching of the Islamic sacred book outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm sparked outrage among Muslims, triggering weeks of protests and calls for a boycott of Swedish goods.

In response, police denied two subsequent requests to conduct similar actions outside the Turkish and Iraqi embassies in Stockholm in February.

Earlier this month, a Swedish appeals court ruled that police had no legal grounds to prevent protesters from torching the Koran.

The latest incident has been criticized by Morocco’s government, which described it as “unacceptable that the faith of Muslims should be disrespected” despite political differences between countries.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan also condemned the stunt as “despicable,” insisting that it should not be allowed “under the pretext of freedom of expression.”

Ankara is blocking Sweden’s NATO bid due to its failure to crack down on Kurdish groups it considers “terrorists” – a situation exacerbated by the January Koran-burning incident.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Wednesday that the action was “legal but not appropriate,” adding that decisions on such events should be left to the police.

Police said Momik is being investigated for incitement to hatred and for violating a temporary ban on fires during a heatwave.