The MJLC in the strongest possible terms condemns the burning of a copy of the Quran during Eid al-Adha outside of Stockholm’s central Mosque. This hateful incitement to violence being allowed to take place by Swedish authorities is completely unacceptable in a country that is steeped in respect for diversity and inclusion.

While the MJLC fully supports freedom of expression this act goes far beyond reasonably protected speech as the act of burning a copy of the Quran outside of Sweden’s largest Mosque on one of Islam’s holiest days is both a clear failed attempt to provoke a response from peaceful worshippers and an implicit threat of violence against all Muslims.

We appreciate and support the statements of condemnation issued by the Swedish government and European Union which we see as a positive development. However, such statements will unfortunately not be sufficient to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. As such we call upon the Swedish government and EU institutions to back their statements of solidarity with concrete action to guarantee protections for worshippers and to prevent such provocative and hateful acts from being allowed to occur in the future.

This disturbing incident evokes the words of the German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine “Those who burn books will in the end burn people.