WATCH: ‘Burning of Qur’an in Sweden an act of provocation’ – protestor
The Muslim community of SA were protesting over the burning of the holy Qur’an outside the Swedish capital Stockholm’s main mosque last week.
Muslims gathered at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newton in Johannesburg, 7 July 2023, to protest against the burning of the holy Qur’an in Sweden. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
A member of the Overseas Pakistanis Advisory Council (OPAC) Africa has strongly condemned the burning of the holy Qur’an in Sweden calling it “an act of provocation”.
Khalid Mirza was speaking to The Citizen on the sidelines of a peaceful protest on Friday, at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown Junction, Johannesburg.
The Muslim community of South Africa were protesting over burning of the holy Qur’an outside the Swedish capital Stockholm’s main mosque last week.
Watch Khalid Mirza condemning the burning of the holy Qur’an
Burning of Qur’an condemned
The Swedish government has condemned the “Islamophobic” act, after an international Islamic body called for measures to avoid future desecration of the holy Qur’an.
Mirza has condemned the burning of the Islam’s holiest book.
“It is not something that happened by mistake or by chance. It is planned terrorism and we as Muslims checked the Qur’an as our red line. If you will cross that red line, it is an unnecessary provocation and you take the responsibility of the consequences thereof.”
Qur’an teaches respect
The head of the Islamic Circle of South Africa, Nadeem Ahmed, also condemned the burning of the Qur’an.
“They burnt the Qur’an, they insulted the Qur’an. The Qur’an is not only the book for the Muslims, we believe that this book is for the entire humanity.
“So, we should respect each and every religion whether it be a Muslim, Christian, Jew or Hindu or other faith,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed added the act of burning Islam’s holy book can divide close knit communities.
“Islam is not a terrorist religion… The message of Qur’an is peace, not terrorism.”
Freedom of expression
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “We will teach the arrogant western people that it is not freedom of expression to insult the sacred values of Muslims”.
Al Jazeera reported that Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is currently holding up Sweden’s application for Nato membership on accusations that the Nordic nation harbours people Turkey considers “terrorists”.