Qurans burnt in front of Egyptian, Turkish embassies in Denmark

The Muslim world condemned recent incidents in the EU countries where copies of the holy book were burnt or stamped on

By Reuters

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People demonstrate against the desecration of the Koran in Denmark, in Sanaa, Yemen July 24, 2023. Photo: Reuters
People demonstrate against the desecration of the Koran in Denmark, in Sanaa, Yemen July 24, 2023. Photo: Reuters

Published: Tue 25 Jul 2023, 7:28 PM

A small group of anti-Islam activists set fire to Qurans in front of the Egyptian and Turkish embassies in Copenhagen on Tuesday after similar protests in Denmark and Sweden over recent weeks that have enraged Muslims.

Denmark and Sweden have said they deplore the burning of the Islam's holy book but cannot prevent it under rules protecting free speech. Last week, protesters in Iraq set the Swedish embassy in Baghdad ablaze.


Tuesday's demonstration in Copenhagen by a group called "Danish Patriots" followed Quran burnings the group staged on Monday and last week in front of the Iraqi embassy. Two such incidents have taken place in Sweden over the past month.

Iraq's foreign ministry on Monday called on authorities of EU countries to "quickly reconsider so-called freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate" in light of the Quran burnings.


Turkey on Monday said it strongly condemned what it called a "despicable attack" on the Quran and called on Denmark to take necessary measures to prevent this "hate crime" against Islam.

The Egyptian foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned Sweden's charge d'affaires to condemn the desecration of the Qurans.

Denmark has condemned the burnings as "provocative and shameful acts" but says it does not have the power to block non-violent demonstrators.

Danish foreign minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Tuesday he had "had a constructive phone call" with Iraqi foreign minister Fuad Husseein on the two countries' bilateral relations and the Quran burnings.

"Repeated DK's condemnation of these shameful acts carried out by few individuals. Emphasized that all protests must remain peaceful," he wrote on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.

"People benefit from an extended freedom of speech when they demonstrate," University of Copenhagen law Professor Trine Baumbach told Reuters, explaining Danish laws. "It does not just include verbal expression. People can express themselves in various ways, such as through the burning of items."

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