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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

SA Muslims take their pain over the burning of Quran in Sweden to the streets

Officials from numerous countries have also reacted to the incident, calling on Stockholm to step up measures against religious hate.

The Muslim community of South Africa has labelled the burning of the holy Quran in Sweden  a “shameful act that is hurting Muslims across the globe”.

The desecration of Islam’s holiest book revealed to Prophet Muhammad more than 1 400 years ago took place outside the Swedish capital Stockholm’s main mosque last week and was carried out by a man during a protest authorised by the police.

The Swedish government has condemned the “Islamophobic” act, after an international Islamic body called for measures to avoid future desecration of the holy Quran.

Officials from numerous countries, including many in the Middle East, have also reacted to the incident, calling on Stockholm to step up measures against religious hate.

Speaking to The Citizen, the Muslim Community Forum said it will protest at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg today to voice out their anger against the burning of the Quran.

Muslims heartbroken

Spokesperson Akhlaq Ahmed Saifee said Muslims are heartbroken by the burning of the Quran.

“They are hurting the hearts of Muslims all over the world and this is a disgraceful and shameful act and it cannot be tolerated. They burnt the Quran right on the day we were celebrating Eid-ul-Adha.”

Saifee said they were supposed to protest at the Swedish Embassy in Pretoria, but due to space constraints they moved their protest to Joburg’s Mary Fitzgerald Square.

Saifee added the Muslim Community Forum has requested a meeting with the Swedish embassy in South Africa and perhaps to hand over a letter of their grievances on the burning of the holy Quran.

Saifee said the Friday Muslim prayer will also be held at Mary Fitzgerald Square.

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Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia‘s condemnation and criticism of the burning of the holy Quran.

The ministry said it sanctioned the ambassador of Sweden to the Kingdom and informed her of the kingdom’s “categorical rejection of this disgraceful act”.

“We call on the Swedish government to stop all acts that directly contradict international efforts seeking to spread the values of tolerance, moderation, and rejection of extremism, and undermine the necessary mutual respect for relations between the people and states.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an urgent meeting on the burning of a Quran outside a mosque in Sweden, following a request from Pakistan.

The debate on the rise of religious hatred will likely take place later this week, a spokesperson for the Geneva-based UN council told a press briefing on Tuesday.

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