Al-Azhar, the one of the most prestigeuses institutions de l’Islam sunnite base in Égypte, a appelé mercredi « au boycottage des produits suédois et néerlandais » after the professions of Corans par des last d’extrême droite ce weekend in Suède and aux Netherlands.
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As part of a protest authorized by Swedish police near the Turkish embassy, Swedish-Danish right-wing militant Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Quran on Saturday.
On Sunday, a Dutch leader of the anti-Islam movement Pegida was filmed alone tearing pages from a copy of the Quran near the Dutch Parliament, before stepping on it.
But according to Dutch public television NOS, the local police prevented him from burning the Muslim holy book. These two events sparked strong protests from Ankara and many capitals of the Muslim world as well as demonstrations in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In a statement, the Sunni establishment called on “Muslims to boycott Dutch and Swedish products,” and demanded “an appropriate response from the governments of these two countries (…) and their perseverance in protecting against heinous crimes and barbarians in the name of ‘freedom of expression’.”
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry “strongly” condemned the two operations in statements, expressing on the second Monday its “deep concern over the recurrence of such events and the recent escalation in a number of European countries.”
For its part, Stockholm denounced the “extremely disrespectful” behavior and expressed its “sympathy” with Muslims, stressing that the Swedish constitution prohibits this type of behavior.
This was not enough to appease Turkey, which was more determined than ever to block Sweden’s candidacy for NATO membership.
Washington on Monday called the burning of the Qur’an an “abhorrent” act, denouncing the “provocation” and “deliberate desire to influence the ongoing discussions regarding Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO” and the “weakening” of transatlantic unity.
“I want to renew the working dialogue with Turkey,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told him at a press conference on Tuesday, criticizing the “provocateurs” trying to destabilize the Swedish candidacy and calling for “calm” in the face of a “dangerous” situation.