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Millions rally across Iran to condemn desecration of Qur’an in Sweden

Demonstrators hold a mass rally to protest the recent desecration of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden after Friday prayers in the Iranian capital of Tehran on July 21, 2023. (Photo by Fars news agency)

Millions of Iranians have taken to the streets across the country after Friday prayers to voice their strong condemnation of the recent desecration of the Holy Qur’an, the second such incident in less than a month.

The mass rallies were held in major Iranian cities on Friday, a day after a Sweden-based Iraqi refugee desecrated the Muslim holy book during a demonstration outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm amid strict protection provided by the Swedish police.

The appalling act opened the floodgates of protest across the world's Muslim community, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoning the Swedish ambassador to Tehran and conveying the Islamic Republic's vehement condemnation of the heinous act.

“The repeated desecration of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden, with the authorization of the country’s government, has hurt the feelings of the Muslim world and followers of monotheistic religions,” Seyyed Mohsen Mahmoudi, the deputy head of Islamic Development Coordination Council, told reporters on Thursday.

Stressing that the Iranian nation will on Friday condemn the act of this “mercenary agent backed by the Swedish government,” Mahmoudi said, “The Islamic world must condemn this heinous act.”

Calling on Iran’s Foreign Ministry to deal decisively with the sacrilegious move, the official said, “The Muslim world must confront this ignorant government with all its might.”

This was the second time Momika was disrespecting the Qur'an amid the approval of Sweden's authorities. He set a copy of the holy book on fire on June 28, prompting similar raging protests across the Muslim world and causing the Iranian Foreign Ministry to summon Sweden's chargé d'affaires.

In a communiqué issued after the rallies on Friday, the demonstrators called on the Iranian Foreign Ministry, in tandem with other Muslim countries, to reconsider diplomatic relations with the government in Stockholm.

The sacrilege comes as Western countries are "deeply worried about the increasing expansion [of Islam] and the shining of the divine words and fear the world's inclination towards Islam," it reads.

Urging for unity among Muslim nations, demonstrators asked all Muslim states to establish a "united front" in the face of "Westerners' wicked actions."

They also called on Muslim scholars to ask their governments to boycott the import of Swedish products.

Also on Friday, people in Iraq and Lebanon staged rallies on Friday to condemn the latest act of desecration.

A day earlier, demonstrators in Baghdad broke into the Swedish Embassy and set part of it on fire to show their anger at the sacrilegious act.

The Iraqi government also ordered the Swedish ambassador to leave and decided to withdraw its envoy from Stockholm for permitting the desecration of the Holy Qur'an.

People in Pakistan also took to the streets to voice their indignation at the insult to the holy Muslim book.

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