Egypt's Al-Azhar urges boycotts over Quran desecration
Al-Azhar calls for the boycott of Swedish and Dutch products after repeated offenses against Islam.
Egypt's Al-Azhar, one of the world's most renowned Islamic education instutituons, has called for a boycott of Swedish and Dutch products following the destruction of Qurans in those countries by far-right protesters.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Al-Azhar called on "Muslims to boycott Dutch and Swedish products". It also urged "an appropriate response from the governments of these two countries" which it charged were "protecting despicable and barbaric crimes in the name of 'freedom of expression'".
Swedish-Danish far-right politician, Rasmus Paludan, set fire to a copy of the Quran in front of Turkey's embassy in Stockholm on Saturday, escalating tensions as Sweden courted Ankara over its NATO membership bid.
The head of the Dutch chapter of the German anti-Islam group Pegida, Edwin Wagensveld, tore pages out of the Quran during a one-man protest outside parliament the following day. Images on social media also showed him walking on the torn pages of the holy book.
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The desecration of the Quran sparked strong protests from Ankara and furious demonstrations in several capitals of the Muslim world including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry "strongly condemned" the Quran burning, expressing "deep concern at the recurrence of such events and the recent Islamophobic escalation in a certain number of European countries".
Turkey postponed NATO accession talks with Sweden and Finland on Tuesday, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Stockholm for allowing weekend protests that included the burning of the Quran.
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