Al Azhar University, one of the leading Islamic seminaries in the world, has issued an unprecedented statement calling Sweden “racist” and urging a coordinated worldwide boycott against it by Muslims.
The statement comes after the Swedish authorities have repeatedly given permission to Islamophobes to burn the Quran outside a mosque and embassies, while giving them police protection.
Al Azhar described Sweden as “the closest society to racism” and called on “all free people in the world to continue boycotting Swedish products in support of the Qur’an, the book of God.”
Here is their statement in full:
“Al Azhar strongly condemns the continued harm to the Quran in Sweden. This is a stain on Sweden which has proven, through its practices, that it is the closest society to racism and the furthest from respecting religions and peoples.
Al Azhar calls on all free people in the world to continue boycotting Swedish products in support of the Quran, the book of God.
“Al Azhar expresses its strong condemnation and denunciation of the repeated provocations practiced by the Swedish authorities against our Islamic sanctities under the false slogan of freedom of expression, stressing that what the Swedish authorities are doing in terms of continuing to grant approvals to burn the Book of God reflects chaotic and extremism policies, support for terrorism and Islamophobia.
“Al Azhar stresses that allowing these criminal terrorists to burn the Quran represents a crime against Islam, the right of religions and humanity, and a stain on the foreheads of these societies, which have proven, through their practices, that they are the closest people to racism, chaos and double standards, and the furthest from true freedom and respect for religions and peoples.
“Al Azhar calls on all Arab and Islamic peoples to continue boycotting all Swedish products in support of God and His Holy Book, and that all free people in the world join this call, and affirms that any failure to take strict stances towards what Sweden produces is support for these crimes, and encouragement for these criminals.
“Al Azhar, while calling on the Arab and Islamic peoples to continue boycotting Swedish products, calls on all Islamic and Arab countries to continue to take unified and serious stances towards Sweden’s barbaric and anti-Islamic policies that do not respect the sanctities of religions and only understand the language of money and material interests.”
The statement follows a furious reaction across the Muslim world in protest at Quran burnings in Sweden.
Swedish officials have repeatedly said that Quran burning is Islamophobic but that it is a constitutional right under freedom of speech laws.
Early on Thursday morning, a crowd of Iraqis stormed Sweden’s Embassy in Baghdad and set it ablaze in protest against the June 28 burning of a copy of the Quran last month by Salwan Momika, an Iraq-born man who now lives in Sweden.
Sweden’s Foreign Ministry condemned the attack on its embassy in Baghdad, calling it a “serious violation” of the Vienna Convention.
Later on Thursday Iraqi authorities declared Sweden’s ambassador to Baghdad “persona non grata.”
And yesterday protests took place across the Muslim world in protest at the Quran burnings.
Iran said it would not accept Sweden’s next ambassador to Tehran or send its own envoy to Stockholm after the most recent Quran burning in the Nordic country.
“Upon the conclusion of the Swedish envoy’s tenure in Tehran, we will refrain from receiving his successor until there is a decisive action from the Swedish government against the offender who disrespected Quran,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in an interview with the country’s public broadcaster.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that it summoned the Swedish charge d’affaires in Abu Dhabi to protest recent decisions permitting burnings of the Muslim holy book in the Nordic country.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Charge D’Affaires at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden to the UAE, and handed her an official note of protest against the repeated attacks and abuses on copies of the Holy Quran committed by extremists in the Kingdom of Sweden,” the Foreign Ministry of UAE said in a statement.
But later on Friday, and despite the protests, members of an Islamophobic group in Denmark burned a copy of the Holy Quran.
The ultranationalist group called Danske Patrioter burned the holy book in front of Iraq’s Embassy in Copenhagen.
They also carried a banner with insulting slogans against Islam, before stamping the Iraqi flag and a copy of the Quran under police protection, as seen in the videos they shared on social media.
The group said they did this to protest the attack against Sweden’s Embassy in Baghdad.
SOURCE: 5PILLARS and AA