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Sweden mulls banning Quran desecration: minister

Stockholm: Sweden’s Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer said the government was examining whether it could ban the desecration of the Holy Quran or books belonging to other faiths illegal after the recent Holy Quran burnings “damaged” the country’s security.

A person, who migrated from Iraq to Sweden, burned pages of the Holy Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm on the first day of Eid ul Adha, prompting outrage in the Muslim world and condemnation from Pope Francis.

The Swedish Security Services, in response to the incident, claimed that such action left the country less safe.

The police, due to security concerns, have this year rejected several applications seeking permission to hold protests and burn the Holy Quran.

But Swedish courts have overturned police decisions, claiming that such acts are protected under the country’s far-reaching freedom of speech laws.

However, while talking to Aftonbladet paper, Strommer said Thursday that the government was analysing the situation and considering whether the legislation needs to be amended.

“We have to ask ourselves whether the current order is good or whether there is reason to reconsider it,” the justice minister told Aftonbladet.

He added that Sweden had become a “prioritised target” for attacks.

“We can see that the Quran burning last week has generated threats to our internal security,” he said.

The incident has also damaged Sweden’s bid to join NATO, with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan saying his country cannot ratify Sweden’s application before the Holy Quran burnings are stopped.

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