Sweden's opposition calls for emergency meeting on Quran burnings

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Sweden's opposition calls for emergency meeting on Quran burnings
The Social Democrats' foreign policy spokesperson said it was normal for MPs to be recalled in times of crisis. Photo: Oscar Olsson/TT

Sweden's Social Democrat opposition has demanded the government call an emergency parliamentary meeting over the ongoing Quran-burning protests.


"We are calling for the foreign policy committee to be called to an extra meeting as soon as possible as a result of what is now happening," the Social Democrats' foreign policy spokesperson Morgan Johansson said in a statement. "We fully expect that the government will take whatever measures are necessary to protect Swedish lives and the Swedish interests." 

Johansson said it was important that the government lay out for the other parties how it intended to deal with the ongoing disruption caused by the the Quran burnings, both domestically and internationally.  

"We find ourselves in an extremely serious situation which has been getting steadily worse," he said 

Sweden's embassy in Baghdad was stormed and burned last Thursday over plans by the Sweden-based Iraqi refugee Salwan Momika to burn a copy of the Quran. 


Algeria on Monday became the latest country to summon the top Swedish diplomat in the country, saying that it "firmly condemns these immoral and uncivil acts that target all that is sacred for Muslims the world over." 

On Monday, a 31-year-old man lodged a request to burn the holy book of Islam in front of the Iranian embassy in a protest against the country's Islamic regime, an act which is likely to trigger another wave of outrage. 

The Social Democrats' demand puts the three party coalition government in a difficult situation, because parliament has been in recess since the start of July and is not due to reopen until August 22nd, meaning most MPs are currently in far-flung summer houses .


Johansson said that it was normal for MPs to be temporarily called back from their summer breaks if there is serious business to be dealt with. 

"This is how things are usually handled in times of crisis," he said. 

"The government," he added, "has a duty to account for what they are doing and I can only say that the government has been very quiet so far during this crisis and said practically nothing. I have a certain understanding for this, but at the same time, you have a duty to show bit of leadership and answer some of the public's questions." 


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