Arab nations call on international community to hold hate crime offenders to account.
Saudi Arabia has condemned Friday’s burning of the Qur’an and Turkish flag by Islamophobic extremists in Denmark.
The Kingdom was joined by Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar that spoke out against the acts by the extremists, saying the actions provoked hatred against Muslims – especially during Ramadan.
Far-right anti-Muslim group Patrioterne Gar Live broadcast footage on Facebook of supporters carrying banners with Islamophobic messages as they burned a copy of the Qur’an and the Turkish flag in front of the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry denounced the incident as a “hate crime” adding that it would never accept such “vile actions being allowed under the guise of freedom of expression,” Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah reported.
And the ministry called on the Danish authorities to take action against those responsible and to ensure further incidents did not happen “that threaten social harmony and peaceful coexistence,” the report added.
The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates spokesperson Sinan Majali, said the act incited hatred and racism.
“Burning the Holy Qur’an is a serious act of hate and a manifestation of Islamophobia that incites violence and insults to religions and cannot be considered a form of freedom of expression at all,” Majali said in a statement.
The statement went on to urge the Danish authorities to prevent a repeat of such actions that “fuel violence and hatred and threaten peaceful coexistence.”
Meanwhile in a statement on the Kuwait Foreign Ministry warned that the burning of the Qur’an risked provoking an angry backlash from Muslims around the globe.
The ministry called for the perpetrators to held accountable, making sure that “freedom of expression is not used to offend Islam or any other religion.”
And Qatar condemned in the “strongest terms” the burning of a copy of the Qur’an, warning that the latest incident represented a “dangerous escalation” of incidents targeting Muslims.
The Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the burning of the Qur’an under the claim of freedom of expression “threatens the values of peaceful coexistence, and reveals abhorrent double standards.”
The ministry reaffirmed Qatar’s rejection of “all forms of hate speech based on belief, race or religion.”
The Qatari foreign ministry called on the international community to “reject hatred, discrimination, incitement and violence, underlining the importance of upholding the principles of dialogue and mutual understanding.”