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OIC calls for action to prevent Quran desecration after Sweden incident

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The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a grouping of 57 Muslim-majority states, has urged the international community to take collective measures to prevent acts of desecration to the Quran and to apply international law to stop religious hatred.

The OIC issued a statement on Sunday after an extraordinary meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss the incident in Sweden where a man tore up and burned a copy of the Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm on Wednesday.

The OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha said the act was a “flagrant violation of human dignity and freedom of religion” and called for “constant reminders” of the international law that prohibits any advocacy of religious hatred.

The Quran burning sparked anger and protests in several Muslim countries, especially in Iraq where thousands of people gathered outside the Swedish embassy in Baghdad. It also strained relations between Sweden and Turkey, an OIC member that supports Sweden’s bid to join NATO.

Swedish police said they had granted permission for a protest to take place but arrested the man who carried out the Quran burning for agitation against an ethnic or national group. They also said they were investigating possible hate crimes related to the incident.

The OIC statement said it appreciated the swift action taken by the Swedish authorities and hoped that they would bring the perpetrators to justice. It also expressed solidarity with the Muslim community in Sweden and condemned any attempts to incite hatred or violence against them.

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