The Swedish embassy in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, has been overrun by dozens of people after a Quran was set on fire during a demonstration in Sweden.
An Islamic holy book was set on fire on Wednesday in front of Stockholm’s main mosque by Salwan Momika, who is thought to be an Iraqi resident in Sweden.
Many nations with a majority of Muslims in them denounced the burning of the Quran.
On Thursday, a crowd gathered in front of the Baghdad embassy after a prominent preacher called for a “angry” demonstration.
Social media videos appeared to show scores of demonstrators entering the courtyard.
The throng temporarily entered the structure and remained inside for almost 15 minutes before departing when local security officers were called in, according to a photographer for the AFP news agency who was on the site.
Muslims believe the Quran as a sacred text from God and find it highly insulting when it is intentionally harmed or treated disrespectfully.
As Muslims worldwide observed the first day of Eid al-Adha, one of the most significant holidays in the Muslim calendar, the Quran was burned on Wednesday.
In accordance with the country’s free speech regulations, Swedish police had granted Mr. Momika permission to hold the protest. Police then stated that a probe was being conducted into the incident for possible racial provocation.
Other countries with a majority of Muslims have also expressed outrage at the episode, notably Turkey, a Nato member that can influence Sweden’s decision to join.
It was “unacceptable” to permit such “anti-Islamic actions” to occur “under the pretext of freedom of expression,” according to Turkey, which was similarly incensed by a Quran-burning rally earlier this year.
“We will eventually teach the haughty Westerners that insulting Muslims is not freedom of thought,” claimed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are among the Middle Eastern countries that strongly condemned the burning.
The embassies of Morocco and Jordan have been called back to Stockholm, and Morocco has also called the Swedish charge d’affaires in Rabat to a meeting.
The incident, according to Iraq, was “a reflection of a hateful aggressive spirit that has nothing to do with freedom of expression.”
Egypt called it a “shameful” conduct that was particularly inflammatory as Muslims observe Eid al-Adha, echoing Iran’s complaint that the act of burning the Quran was “provocative” and “unacceptable.”
This week, over 1.8 million pilgrims traveled to Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia declared, “These hateful and repeated acts cannot be accepted with any justification.”
Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, stated that it was “legal but not appropriate” to burn the Quran.
In recent months, riots have broken out in Sweden as a result of plans to burn copies of the Quran.
Similar protest petitions have recently been denied by the police, but judges later decided that they should be approved on the grounds of freedom of expression.
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