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Sweden considering allowing protesters to burn Torah outside Israeli embassy

TJI Pick
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Published: 7 July 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Stockholm police allowed the burning of a Koran in front of a mosque, now they are considering allowing protesters to incinerate a book of Torah.

Three requests to burn religious texts, including a Torah book, have been submitted to police in Sweden by self-described free-speech advocates in what would likely spark further international uproar a week after a Koran was burned outside a mosque in Stockholm in a similar demonstration.

Local police confirmed to Sweden’s national public broadcaster on Wednesday that it had received an application from an individual in his 30s to burn a Jewish and a Christian Bible outside Israel’s Embassy in Stockholm on July 15 as “a symbolic gathering for the sake of freedom of speech.”

Another request to burn a Koran “as soon as possible” in Stockholm was submitted by a woman in her 50s.

Police did not immediately rule out either request, saying every application is reviewed on an individual basis.

Police allowed the demonstration to take place in Stockholm last week, citing freedom of speech after a court overturned a ban on Koran burning. The burning sparked counterprotests from Muslims in Pakistan, who burned the Swedish flag.

Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, Ziv Nevo Kulman, expressed his dismay over the request, tweeting: “I am shocked and horrified by the prospect of the burning of more books in Sweden, be it the Koran, the Torah or any other holy book. This is clearly an act of hatred that must be stopped.”

After Koran, request filed with Swedish police to burn Torah outside Israeli embassy (Times of Israel)

Israeli envoy 'shocked and horrified' by threat to set fire to Torah in Sweden (Haaretz)  

Photo: Demonstrators display and step on mock Swedish flags during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, against the burning of a copy of the Koran in Sweden. (EPA/Shahzaib Akber)

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