Sweden faces limited support to ban Holy Quran desecrations, says Experts

Picture source - Reuters
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Political will to ban Holy Quran desecrations in Sweden remains limited, despite upsetting sentiments in the Muslim world, including Pakistan. Experts and politicians emphasized that even if there were support for such a move, it would be complicated to implement. Recent incidents of desecrations have led to protests and diplomatic repercussions.

The Swedish Embassy in Baghdad was attacked by supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in response to a desecration incident outside the Iraqi Embassy in Stockholm. The Swedish government has been criticized for its handling of these acts, but it faces challenges in changing the laws or constitution to address the issue.

Sweden’s courts have ruled that police cannot stop the desecration of holy scriptures, citing the constitution’s strong protection of freedom of speech. Changing the constitution is a lengthy process, requiring votes in parliament and a general election. While there have been discussions about amending the Public Order Act to empower the police, progress is uncertain.

The issue of Holy Quran desecrations has raised concerns about Sweden’s potential accession to NATO, as Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned that such acts could hinder Sweden’s acceptance into the military alliance. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has introduced a resolution calling for states to review laws preventing prosecution of religious hatred.

Deputy Prime Minister Ebba Busch of the Christian Democrats stated that Sweden would determine its legislation independently and not be influenced by other countries’ faiths or laws. However, any potential law change faces significant obstacles due to the minority government’s reliance on the anti-immigrant and critical-of-Islam Sweden Democrats for support.

In summary, the issue of banning Holy Quran desecrations faces complex challenges in Sweden, both politically and legally, making any immediate action unlikely.