Pope Francis expressed his displeasure over the burning of the Quran in Sweden last week on the occasion of Bakrid. He said that he got angry and felt disappointed after seeing the insult of the holy book of Muslims. He said that any holy book should be respected.
In an interview published on Monday in the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al Ittihad, the Pope said, ‘For the respect of the believer in any book considered sacred, that book should be respected. I get angry about such incidents and I feel disappointed.
He further said, ‘Freedom of expression should never be used as a means of disparaging others. It is unacceptable to allow this and I condemn it. Last Wednesday, in front of the Stockholm Central Mosque, the largest mosque in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, a man named Salvan Momika first crushed a copy of the Quran with his feet and then set it on fire.
The incident took place on the occasion of Bakrid, due to which Islamic countries are very angry. After the video of the incident surfaced, almost all Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Palestine, and Yemen. Have expressed strong protest.
The ministry had said in a statement, ‘These heinous and repeated acts cannot be accepted with any justification. Such acts incite hatred and racism. They run counter to international efforts to promote the values of tolerance, moderation and the elimination of extremism. Such acts reduce mutual respect in the relationship between the citizen and the country.
On Monday this week, Saudi also expressed its displeasure by summoning the ambassador of Sweden. Saudi Arabia said in a statement, ‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the ambassador of Sweden and informed him that Saudi Arabia categorically rejected the outrageous act carried out by the extremist who burned the Holy Quran.’
The statement further said, ‘The ministry calls on the government of Sweden to stop all those acts that undermine tolerance, moderation and efforts to prevent extremism and that undermine mutual respect between countries and peoples.’