Exclusive: ‘No regrets,’ says woman who stopped Quran burning in Sweden

By Robert Carter

Far-right forces have been given “far too much” space in both the media and politics in Sweden that has emboldened Islamophobes, says the 47-year-old woman who interrupted a recent incident of the Quran burning in Stockholm.

In conversation with the Press TV website, Cecilia Saav, who grabbed headlines worldwide earlier this month after she sprayed a far-right extremist with a fire extinguisher as he attempted to burn the Muslim holy book outside the Iranian embassy in Stockholm, said she does not regret her actions.

“There is so much hate and evil in the world anyway so I really don't understand the purpose of his (Salwan Momika) actions,” she said, strongly denouncing the actions of the notorious hate-monger.

“If he has opinions about Islam, there are better ways to express them.”

On August 18, outside the Iranian embassy in the Swedish capital, Saav bravely confronted Momika, an Iraqi Christian refugee living in Sweden, when he attempted to set ablaze the Holy Quran.

A viral video of the scene showed Saav rushing up to Momika and spraying white powder at him before Swedish police officers in plainclothes intercepted and detained her.

The Quran-burning demonstration was authorized by the Swedish police.

Momika has been involved in the desecration of the Holy Quran on multiple occasions in recent months, sparking anger and outrage across the Muslim world.  

“We, ordinary Swedes, do not stand behind his actions. Sweden stands for democracy and equality. Justice and the equal value of all people,” Saav told the Press TV website.

The mother of two hastened to add that she is “not religious” but believes in “equal value of all people and to treat each other with respect, regardless of what religion you belong to.”

She said she is “very grateful for all the love and appreciation people have expressed” after her video of interrupting the Quran-burning demonstration became viral and drew praise worldwide.

“I don't know yet what the penalty will be, but probably a fine. But I have had a lot of positive responses from people and caring people have already started raising money to cover my legal costs,” Saav said.

“So hopefully it will work out. My Facebook is flooded with messages from people who care.”

On brutal police action against her, she said the officers were “unnecessarily harsh”, especially in tearing open her clothes, adding that she felt “they were prepared for something more serious.”

“I don't regret my actions,” the 47-year-old Swedish woman asserted.

Robert Carter is a journalist and producer at Press TV's London Bureau, covering news from across the globe, with a special interest in the Muslim world.

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