ISTANBUL : The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemned the burning of the holy Quran last week in Sweden and called for collective measures to prevent the recurrence of such provocative acts.
The statement came during an extraordinary session of the OIC’s executive committee in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss the consequences of the desecration.
It was issued after the meeting strongly condemned the disrespectful act towards the sanctity of the Quran in Stockholm and expressed disappointment over the authorities allowing it.
The statement included a call for the OIC Secretary-General to send a letter to the Swedish government on behalf of the member countries and to evaluate conducting an official visit to both Sweden and the European Commission to “express the condemnation of the incident of the burning of the Quran and demand necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of that criminal act under the pretext of freedom of expression.”
It also urged OIC member countries to make “collective efforts against vile acts” targeting the Quran and other symbols of Islam, emphasizing that exercising freedom of expression also entails responsibilities along with certain rights.
The statement called on the international community to stop those who engage in provocative acts against the sacred values of Muslims in the name of freedom of expression and encouraged civil society organizations in countries where actions are taken against Islamic symbols to resort to legal means in response.
It also called for the acceleration of the implementation of the “Plan of Action for Combating Islamophobia” adopted at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and urged the OIC to continue its fight against Islamophobia at regional and international forums.
The OIC Secretary-General was also invited to review diplomatic ties with countries where “the sanctity of the Quran and other Islamic values, symbols and sanctities are desecrated with the consent of the concerned country, including suspending the status of a special envoy.”
On Wednesday, a person identified as Salwan Momika burned a copy of the Muslim holy book under police protection in front of Stockholm Mosque.
His provocative act was timed to coincide with Eid al-Adha, one of the major Islamic religious festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
The act has elicited widespread condemnation from the Islamic world, including Türkiye, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Senegal, Morocco and Mauritania.
In January, a far-right politician also set fire to a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish embassy in Sweden. — AA