For several years, copies of the Quran have been burned in Sweden, in different cities, in front of different mosques and on different Muslim holidays. The burnings of the Quran have outraged Muslims around the world. States in the Muslim world have summoned diplomats, called for a boycott of Swedish companies and goods, and demanded legal protection against Quran burnings. This has caused great anger and led to large demonstrations in several countries. In Sweden, too, thousands of Muslims have demonstrated against the burning of the Quran in various cities, and this has led to major divisions in society, with the majority of Swedes wanting to ban the burning of the Quran, including political scientists and opinion leaders. The police have also received applications to burn other religious texts. The government and even the Sweden Democrats have condemned the burnings of the Quran.
On Wednesday, July 26, the Prime Minister wrote in a Facebook post, in a pitiful attempt to clear his and the government’s responsibility for the Quran burnings, that the Swedish state does not issue permits to burn copies of the Quran and that it is the police who issue permits for public gatherings regardless of how each individual uses them, adding that the state does not stand behind any political messages. The government, headed by the Prime Minister, should know that Muslims have not forgotten the government parties’ repeated support for attacks on Islam and the Prophet (saw), not least to Lars Vilks for the Muhammad cartoons. Nor do Muslims forget that the former Moderate member of parliament, Hanif Bali, called the Prophet an illiterate pedophile and that Deputy Prime Minister Ebba Busch wanted to see a hundred Muslims shot after the demonstrations against the Quran burnings last year and wondered why the police did not fire live ammunition at them. The government’s condemnation is both hypocritical and transparent when they cooperate with the Sweden Democrats whose chairman of the justice committee, Richard Jomshof, has repeatedly attacked and incited against Islam and the prophet. Richard Jomshof has called Islam an abominable ideology and religion, he has called for the burning of another hundred Qurans and also called the Prophet a mass murderer, bandit and slave trader. Muslims also do not forget that the government has chosen to cooperate with a party whose former politicians did not consider Muslims to be human beings.
The government can, as some political scientists, lawyers and opinion leaders believe, ban the burning of the Quran. Moreover, the former Social Democratic Minister of Justice, Thomas Bodström, believes that the government should stop Quran burnings and that this is currently possible without changing the law. Instead, the government has chosen to allow the Quran burnings to take place and has spent almost a hundred million Swedish crowns of the people’s tax money to finance hatred of Islam and Muslims, despite obvious harmful consequences to society. It is the Islamophobic policies of successive governments that have provoked Islamophobia, tensions in society and polarization between different groups of the society. The government and other parties are therefore responsible for the hatred and the Islamophobic climate that now characterizes society.
The Quran burnings have once again proved that freedom of expression is a political tool used selectively according to the interests of those in power. When it comes to mocking and insulting the Quran and the Prophet (saw), there is freedom of expression, but when it comes to criticizing the policies of those in power, it is disinformation that must be countered. Former Minister for Integration and Migration, Anders Ygeman, announced last spring that the government was pushing within the EU for digital platforms to be obliged to remove content. At the beginning of this year, the government announced that it wants to make it illegal to insult public employees. So insulting Islam is free speech, but not officials. This is hypocrisy of the worst kind. It is the de facto freedom of expression that has created this division, polarization and discord in society, and it is time to look for better alternatives that can guarantee the dignity and security of all people. The Caliphate is the only governance system in history that has managed to guarantee the rights of its citizens and create a society for all, regardless of faith or background.
The correct action does not include addressing politicians who are responsible for Islamophobia and Quran burnings, or cooperating with parties that use you in their crisis to score political points and calm the situation. The correct effective political action is to carry Islam politically on a united front and reject the unjust policies that target Islam and Islamic identity.
Moreover, the only real and long-term protection for Muslims is the re-establishment of the Caliphate (Khilafah), which will protect the interests of Muslims and do what is necessary to stop attacks on Islam and Muslims.
Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Sweden
9 Muharram 1445 – Thursday, 27th July 2023
No: 01 / 1445