Iraq calls on Sweden to extradite immigrant who burned Quran
The Foreign Ministry of Iraq calls on the Swedish government to extradite the Iraqi who burned a copy of the Quran.
The Foreign Ministry of Iraq called on Sweden to extradite the Iraqi man who burned a copy of the Quran outside a Stockholm mosque so that he could be tried according to the country's laws.
According to the ministry, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein requested a phone call with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom on Friday.
Hussein considered that burning the Quran does not come within the context of free speech, but rather fosters violence and ignites the flames of Islamophobia.
The Iraqi foreign minister highlighted that this atrocious conduct, which is an insult to Islamic sanctities, has affected Muslims worldwide. Hussein also urged the Swedish government to take the necessary steps to extradite the Iraqi immigrant to Baghdad for trial by the country's laws.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Ahmed al-Sahhaf also said, “A man who desecrated the Holy Quran is a citizen of Iraq. That is why we demand that the Swedish government extradite him to Iraq to face trial by Iraqi law."
Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi immigrant stomped on the Quran on Wednesday before setting several pages on fire in front of Stockholm's largest mosque. The insult to the Muslim holy book was made under the authorization and protection of the Swedish police.
The incident, which occurred during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday at the end of the yearly trip to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, infuriated Muslims around the world.
Jessica Svardstrom, Sweden's ambassador to Iraq, was summoned to the Iraqi foreign ministry on Thursday. The ministry issued a "resolute protest" in response to the incident, emphasizing that "legal justifications and freedom of speech considerations cannot justify desecration of holy objects."
Following the incident, many thousand Iraqis gathered around the Swedish embassy in Baghdad to condemn the burning of the Quran and demand that the ambassador be expelled. Protests were also held in other Muslim countries in response to the proposal.
The perpetrator told a Swedish newspaper late Thursday that he intended to repeat his protest in July.
In recent years, Sweden has routinely approved Qur'an burnings. A right-wing fanatic from Sweden and Denmark torched a copy of the Quran near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm in January.