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Saudi FM says extremist burning of the Holy Qur’an incites ‘hatred, exclusion, and racism’

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. (SPA)
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12 Jul 2023 01:07:00 GMT9
12 Jul 2023 01:07:00 GMT9
  • The foreign minister said the repeated burning of copies of the book sacred to Muslims was “worrying”

Lama Alhamawi

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan participated in the emergency discussion session of the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday following the burning a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden on June 28.

“The Kingdom’s government affirms the necessity of consolidating the values of dialogue, tolerance, and respect and rejecting everything that would spread hatred and extremism,” Prince Faisal said.

“The Kingdom’s government strongly condemns the extremists’ burning of copies of the Holy Qur’an and affirms that these reprehensible acts cannot be accepted with any justification, as they incite hatred, exclusion, and racism. They directly contradict the international efforts to spread the values of tolerance, moderation, and rejection of extremism,” the he added.

The foreign minister added that there could be no justification for the burning, saying it contradicted the values of tolerance, moderation, and the rejection of extremism.

Prince Faisal stressed that all international condemnations and rejection of these acts were evidence that the international community and organizations must act to stop such offensive events taking place.

Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia looks forward to adopting the draft resolution presented on “Combating religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” by consensus.

The Saudi foreign minister also congratulated the ambassador of the Czech Republic on his election as president of the UN Human Rights Council for the current year, wishing him success in his new duties.


An activist and supporter of Pakistan Markazi Muslim League (PMML) party reads the Qur’an during an anti-Sweden demonstration in Karachi on July 9, 2023. (AFP)


On July 1, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation announced that it will hold an emergency meeting of its executive committee in Jeddah to discuss the consequences of the burning of the Qur’an.

The meeting discussed measures to be taken against this heinous act and adopted a collective position on the necessary course of action.

Salwan Momika, 37, a refugee from Iraq, desecrated the Qur’an and set fire to its pages in front of Stockholm’s largest mosque on Eid Al-Adha.

Momika’s desecration of the holy text sparked outrage with videos circulating through social media, with the OIC, multiple countries’ governments and ambassadors condemning the actions.

At the end of his speech to the UN, Prince Faisal stressed the importance of freedom of expression being a moral value that spreads respect and coexistence among peoples, not a tool to spread hatred and cultural and civilizational clashes, pointing to the need to spread the values of tolerance and moderation and to reject all forms of hatred, violence, and extremism.

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