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Islamic leaders slam West at UN over Quran burnings

Muslim leaders speaking at the UN on Tuesday chastised the West for the burning of the Koran.

The United Nations:

Muslim leaders speaking to the United Nations on Tuesday chastised the West over the Koran burnings, denouncing the acts protected by free speech as discriminatory.

Sweden has seen a series of burnings of the Islamic holy book, with the government expressing condemnation but saying it could not prevent acts protected by free speech laws.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been putting pressure on Sweden for months over its reception of Kurdish activists whom Turkey considers terrorists, said Western countries were facing “a scourge” of racism, particularly Islamophobia.

“This has reached intolerable levels,” he told the UN General Assembly.

“Unfortunately, populist politicians in many countries continue to play with fire by encouraging such dangerous trends,” he said.

“The mentality that encourages hideous attacks on the Holy Quran in Europe, by allowing them under the guise of freedom of expression, is essentially darkening (Europe’s) own future with its own hands.”

In Sweden, protests involving Quran burnings were organized by refugee Salwan Momika, sparking outrage across the Middle East, including in his native Iraq.

Erdogan said in July he would lift the blockade on Sweden’s NATO bid, but Turkey’s parliament has yet to ratify the country’s membership.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric representing the theocratic Shiite state, held up a Quran at the UN podium.

“The fires of disrespect will not overcome divine truth,” Raïssi said, accusing the West of seeking to “divert attention with the tool of freedom of expression.”

“The Islamophobia and cultural apartheid seen in Western countries – evident in actions ranging from the desecration of the Holy Quran to banning the hijab in schools – and many other deplorable discriminations are not worthy of human dignity “, declared Raïssi.

He was referring to France, which controversially banned Muslim girls from wearing hijabs in schools.

Her appearance comes a year after Iran’s clerical state violently suppressed women-led protests sparked by the custodial death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old held by morality police for allegedly violating the bond to wear the hijab.

The emir of Qatar, a wealthy kingdom with close ties to the West and the rest of the Islamic world, said in his speech that “deliberately compromising the sanctity of others” should not be considered freedom of expression .

“I would say to my Muslim brothers that it is improbable that we allow ourselves to be distracted by an idiot or a biased person every time it occurs to him to provoke us by burning the Holy Quran or by other forms of triviality,” said Emir Sheikh. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

“The Quran is too holy to be desecrated by a stupid person.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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