Swedish police have arrested a man who tried to prevent Iraqi refugee Salwan Momika from setting fire to a copy of the Qur’an in yet another act of desecration of the holy Muslim book in the country’s third-largest city of Malmo.
Swedish media said that Momika repeated the sacrilegious act in a square in Malmo during a demonstration he organized on Sunday, where around 200 people showed up to watch, adding that police detained a man who tried to stop him.
“Spectators showed their emotion after the organizer burned the writings,” the police said in a statement.
“The atmosphere was stormy” as “violent riots” broke out in the early afternoon, it added.
According to police, the gathering ended after the organizer left, but a group of people remained at the scene.
Around ten people were arrested for disturbing public order and two others were arrested on suspicion of having participated in violent riots.
Media reports said some spectators threw stones at Momika, while some others tried to break through the cordon before being stopped by police.
Momika has carried out the same actions twice before, outside Stockholm’s main mosque and later outside Iraq’s embassy. The insults to the Muslim holy book were made under the authorization and protection of the Swedish police.
Following the incidents, people in Muslim countries took to the streets in protest against the blasphemous move.
Sweden has already seen its diplomatic relations with several Muslim nations strained over previous protests involving the Qur'an desecrations.
The holy Muslim book has been subject to acts of desecration by extremist elements multiple times in Denmark too.
The sacrilegious acts have ignited the ire of the entire Muslim community across the globe. Several countries have summoned or expelled Swedish and Danish ambassadors.
The Nordic countries have deplored the desecration of the Qur’an but claimed that they cannot prevent it under constitutional laws protecting freedom of speech.