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Violent protests, over the burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden once again, three people arrested


A person runs past a burning car and a banner reading, “No to Quran burning. Don’t abuse freedom of expression” placed on the roundabout, at Ramel väg, in Malmo, Sweden, early Monday, Sept. 4, 2023. Clashes in an immigrant neighborhood in Sweden’s third largest city after an anti-Muslim protester set fire to the Quran with police being pelted with rocks and dozens of cars set on fire. Police said Monday, adding the tensions now have died down. (Johan Nilsson /TT News Agency via AP)

Clashes erupted in an immigrant neighborhood in Sweden's third-largest city after an anti-Muslim protester set a copy of the Holy Quran on fire.

Police in Malmö said they were pelted with stones and dozens of cars were set on fire, including in an underground garage, and described the events that began on Sunday and continued through the night as "a violent riot".

Police said the clashes began when an anti-Islam activist, Sloan Momika, burned a copy of the Quran on Sunday and an angry mob tried to stop him. He said that at least three people have been detained.

Early Monday, a crowd of mainly young people set tires and debris on fire and some threw electric scooters, bicycles, and barricades in Malmö's Rosengård neighborhood, which has seen similar clashes in the past. The burning of the Quran was condemned on several banners.

"I understand that such a public gathering incites strong emotions, but we cannot tolerate chaos and violent expressions like the one on Sunday afternoon," said senior police officer Petra Stankola.

He said that it is very sad to see violence and vandalism again in Rosengard.

Swedish Prime Minister Alf Kristerson told a news conference that "regardless of the cause of these riots, car fires, harassment, violence against police officers, ... whatever the reason, I think that all The Swedes find it completely unacceptable," Swedish Prime Minister Alf Kristerson said at a news conference.

In recent months, Momika, a refugee from Iraq, has desecrated copies of the Holy Quran in much of Stockholm in connection with anti-Islam protests. Swedish police have authorized his actions, citing freedom of expression.

The burning of the Holy Quran has sparked protests in Muslim countries, following attacks on Swedish diplomatic missions and threats from Islamic extremists. Muslim leaders in Sweden have called on the government to find ways to burn the Holy Quran.

However, the government has announced an investigation into the possibility of enabling the police to refuse permits for protests over national security concerns.

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