Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan condemn Quran burning in Copenhagen
Islamabad/Dacca/Kabul, Jan 28 (EFE).- Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on Saturday condemned the burning of a copy of the Quran by a far-right politician the day before in Copenhagen.
Massive protests were also held in the three Asian nations Danish-Swedish extremist Rasmus Paludan burned the Muslim holy text outside the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen on Friday, a week after he performed the same stunt in Stockholm.
“Pakistan condemns in the strongest terms the senseless and deeply offensive act of desecration of the Holy Quran in Denmark, by the same Islamophobe who committed a similar act in Sweden a few days ago,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The authorities of the Asian country, where 96% of its 207 million inhabitants follow Islam, said the repeat of this “vile act” leaves “little doubt in the minds of Muslims around the world that freedom of expression is being blatantly abused to spread religious hatred and incitement to violence.”
The Bangladesh Foreign Ministry also registered its “grave concern over such a heinous act” and urged “all concerned to refrain from such unwarranted provocations and Islamophobia for the sake of harmony and peaceful coexistence”.
In Afghanistan, where Taliban authorities already condemned this week the latest incidents of burning copies of the Quran, the spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, Mohammad Naeem, denounced the “insult” to the holy book on Twitter, where he shared videos of crowded demonstrations.
According to Afghanistan’s state-run Bakhtar news agency, tens of thousands of people demonstrated across the country throughout Friday and Saturday chanting slogans such as “the Quran is the book of peace” as well as “death to those who publicly burned the holy Quran.”
The burning of copies of the Quran by Paludan in front of the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen, as well as in front of a mosque and the Russian consulate, follows a similar action in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm last Saturday.
On Monday, the leader of the far-right group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West (PEGIDA), Edwin Wagensveld, destroyed a copy of the book before setting it on fire in The Hague.
These acts, protected by freedom of speech legislation in Denmark and Sweden, have provoked numerous protests and condemnations in several Muslim countries. EFE