Following the Danish far-right leader, Rasmus Paludan’s performance, Sweden is no longer neutral. The Danish leader went with police to a predominately Muslim community in southern Linkoping, placed the Koran on the floor, and went on to burn it while ignoring the protests of bystanders.
Anger fueled the crowd as Paludan insulted them, and the police stood in passive obedience to their leader. Following the ignored pleas, violence soon broke out. The first Koran burning ended with a dozen police officers injured.
The violence and injuries sustained, however, did not stop Paludan. On Friday, the politician was set to burn a Koran in the central city of Orebro. Four emergency vehicles were on standby in preparation and fear of protests turning violent.
There is a way to properly dispose of the Koran if there is ever a need. Islamic traditions on how to dispose of the Koran generally fall into three categories, all of which include returning the material to the soil in a natural way: burial, placing it in flowing water, or burning. All of which would get carried out with a great deal of respect and appreciation for their God.
In the days following the initial book burn, protests have broken out all over the country. This past Sunday, a crowd of about 150 people repeated the actions of the initial protestors in southern Linkoping by, again, throwing stones at police officers. Protestors took their demonstration to the next level as they set fire to police cars in the eastern city of Norrkoping.
With alleged intentions of putting the violence on Sunday to bed, police claim to have shot ‘warning shots’ into the sky; unfortunately, three protestors have fallen victim to the gunshots as the officials firing the guns claim they were “hit by ricochets.” Police took the injured to the hospital to get their gunshots taken care of; shortly after receiving care, all victims got arrested on ‘suspicion of crime.’
Similar anti-Muslim actions have been committed earlier by Danish far-right racist groups. Paludan set up the Stram Kurs party in 2017, and it is now known for its anti-immigration and anti-Islam agenda. Paludan and the rest of his political party had put together a demonstration with the intent to disrespectfully burn even more Koran in the nearby city of Linkoping. Word of the planned demonstration spread like wildfire. As protestors prepared to demonstrate how the actions getting taken out were insulting, the day of Paludan’s demonstration came. Swedish media reports that nobody showed up at the planned site.
The politician took to Facebook to express that the only reason he decided to cancel his demonstration was because Swedish authorities were “completely incapable” of protecting both him and themselves.