Stockholm Quran burner vows to stage another burning in front of embassy

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Stockholm Quran burner vows to stage another burning in front of embassy
Salwan Momika, left, burned a copy of the Quran outside Stockholm's main mosque earlier this week. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A man whose burning of the Quran sparked a wave of condemnations around the world, told Swedish media that he intended to burn another copy of the book in front of Iraq's embassy within ten days.


After being granted a permit to protest by Swedish police, Salwan Momika, 37, stomped on the Islamic holy book and set several pages alight in front of the capital's largest mosque on Wednesday.

The Quran burning, coinciding with the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha and the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, sparked anger across and beyond the Middle East.

Speaking to newspaper Expressen, Momika said he knew his action would provoke reactions and that he had received "thousands of death threats".

Nonetheless, he was planning further actions in the coming weeks, he said.

"Within 10 days I will burn the Iraqi flag and the Quran in front of Iraq's embassy in Stockholm," he said.


Swedish police had granted him a permit in line with free-speech protections, but later said they had opened an investigation over "agitation against an ethnic group", noting that he had performed the burning so close to the mosque.

Momika, however, denied that his actions constituted a "hate crime" or "agitation towards any group".


"The police have the right to investigate whether the burning is a hate crime. They could be right and they can be wrong," Momika told the newspaper, adding that it would be up to a court to decide in the end.

The police authorisation for the protest came two weeks after a Swedish appeals court rejected the police's decision to deny permits for two demonstrations in Stockholm which were to include Quran burnings.

Police had at the time cited security concerns, following a burning of the Muslim holy book outside Turkey's embassy in January which led to weeks of protests, calls for a boycott of Swedish goods and further stalled Sweden's Nato membership bid – which is being blocked by Ankara.

The appeals court however in mid-June ruled that police were wrong to ban those, saying the security concerns cited by police were not sufficient to ban the events.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also