Thousands of people took to the streets on Friday in several provinces of Afghanistan to express their anger over the burning of the holy Quran incident which took place in Sweden last week.
On January 21, an anti-immigration politician from the far-right fringe of Sweden burned a copy of the Quran, Muslim’s most valuable scripture, during a protest near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.
In heinous incident was followed by worldwide condemnations, sparking rallies in major Muslim countries. Afghanistan joined the group after people took to the streets after the Friday prayer and chanted death to those who publicly burned the holy Quran.
Protests were held in Nangarhar, Kunar, Laghman, Badakhshan, Balkh, Kandahar, Zabul, Ghor, Herat, Panjshir, and Kabul provinces. In Badakhshan protestors chanted “death to Sweden, the US, and the UN,” a Taliban official said.
“The perpetrators should be handed to the Muslim World, otherwise their interest will be in danger, no matter where they are,” Abdul Qadeer, head of the counter-terrorism office of the Taliban in Ghor, said.
Earlier in the week, Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi called on the Swedish government to punish the perpetrators and avoid similar incidents in the future.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, a US State Department spokesperson said, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom and other influential world leaders and organizations have strongly condemned the act – describing it as Islamophobic, provocative, and disrespectful against the entire Muslim world.
The desecration of the holy Quran in the western world has caused extreme anger among Muslim Ummah, which may possibly end with serious consequences if not prevented. In 2011, violent protests took place in Afghanistan over burning a copy of the Holy Quran by a radical fundamentalist Christian in the United States. Protesters over-ran a UN mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed at least seven foreign staff, and injured many security personnel and protestors, according to a Reuters report.