Sweden hit by Muslim riots after threat to burn the Koran

Sweden hit by Muslim riots after threat to burn the Koran

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Muslim riots have broken out in Sweden after a far-right politician threatened to burn the Koran (Quran). This isn’t the first time that riots have broken out about the desecration of the Koran and the ensuing attacks against the police. Therefore, it is time for liberals and secularists to at least acknowledge the sanctity of religious holy books – irrespective of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and other faiths. 

The far-right Danish-Swedish politician, Rasmus Paludan, threatened to burn the sacred book of Islam, the Koran. Not for the first time, this triggered a small minority of Muslims to riot and protest angrily at the threat of this happening. Thus images of cars being burnt, the police being attacked by stones, and the police shooting warning shots have occurred in recent days in Sweden.

Morgan Johansson, the Justice Minister of Sweden, said, despite Paludan being a “right-wing extremist fool, whose only goal is to drive violence and divisions… Sweden is a democracy and in a democracy, fools also have freedom of speech.”

The BBC reports, “At least 16 police officers were reported to have been injured and several police vehicles destroyed in unrest on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in places where the far-right group planned events, including in the suburbs of Stockholm and in the cities of Linköping and Norrköping.”

According to Anders Thornberg, the national police chief of Sweden, the latest riot was on a different scale. Hence, Thornberg said, “We have seen violent riots before. But this is something else.”

Riots and disturbances occurred in Landskrona, Linkoping, Malmo, Norrkoping, Orebro, and Stockholm.

Ironically, the actions by Paludan are helping the Sunni Islamist militant cause. After all, the one common thread of the far-right, far-left, Islamists, the politically correct, and race-baiters are that they all sow the seeds of division. Therefore, realistic policies are needed to adapt to the changing ways of many nations.

For example, liberal nations should cut off the channels of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Takfiri groups. Also, nations should prevent students from studying abroad in schools that foster Islamist supremacy (some Muslim students from Sufi traditions have returned to despise their own indigenous Islam after studying in the Gulf or Pakistan). However, in return for protecting wider society from extremism: the government of Sweden should ban the desecration of all holy books, adopt a Muslim religious policy in schools that highlights the diverse nature of this faith (Alawite, Alevi, Ahmadiyya, Sunni, Shia, Sufi, indigenous Islam that fuses with other different faiths or pre-Muslim traditions, and the countless subgroups within the strands of Sunni and Shia Islam that hold different traditions), and support initiatives that bring communities together. 

Middle East Christians have made Sweden their home because of various factors. This concerns economic migration in more distant times – to increasing numbers fleeing NATO intrigues in Iraq and Syria. Hence, the destabilization of Iraq and Syria – and the economic convulsions of these wars that impacted Lebanon – opened up a can of worms. Therefore, the increasing threat from al-Qaeda to ISIS (Islamic State – IS) led Middle East Christians, Yazidis, and other embattled communities to seek the safety of Sweden and other nations. 

Muslims have also moved to Sweden for a variety of reasons. Similar to Middle East Christian communities that sought a better way of life. For example, economic factors, fleeing war, and Muslim sectarianism. After all, Sunni Islamist sectarian groups target non-Muslims and Muslims alike (Sunni Islamists kill the Alawites and Shia) – with ISIS having a special hatred of Shia Muslims and the Yazidis – while al-Qaeda and other Sunni Islamist groups in Syria have targeted the Alawites.

Sweden needs to clamp down on all forms of extremism. Likewise, events that trigger hatred and increase alienation must also be tackled – this includes the banning of desecrating all holy books.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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