STOCKHOLM: Repeated acts of desecration of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, in the past nine months has cost Sweden nearly $200,000, local media said on Saturday.
Provocative acts of Quran burnings by Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan, and Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee living in Stockholm, has taken 2.2 million Swedish krona (some $199,300) from the Nordic country, according to Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Radio.
These acts raised the cost due to the deployment of more police officers and disrupted the routine duties of many of them, the report said.
Provocative acts of Quran burning in Sweden
Along with Denmark, Sweden has also met with wide-ranging criticism for permitting public desecration of the Quran under police protection.
Paludan, the leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) Party, has burned copies of the Muslim holy book in the Swedish cities of Malmo, Norrkoping, Jonkoping, and Stockholm, including during Easter last year.
On June 21, he burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Sweden.
Momika made headlines a week later, when he burned a copy of the Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm during Eid al-Adha, one of the major Islamic religious festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
On July 20, outside of the Iraqi Embassy in Sweden, he threw a copy of the Quran and the Iraqi flag on the ground and stomped on them, later burning a Quran copy outside of the Swedish parliament on July 31.
Iranian immigrant Bahrami Marjan held similar provocative acts in Angbybadet, an area near Stockholm, on Aug. 3.
Momika also staged another Quran burning outside the Iranian Embassy in Sweden early in August, and another in front of the Stockholm Mosque last week.
Though acknowledging that these acts hurt Sweden’s image and put security at risk, Momika is still able to get permission from the authorities.
Swedish security services have also said the country’s security situation has deteriorated after the ongoing Quran burnings. — AA