Sweden authorities allow man to protest who plans to burn Torah and Bible outside Israeli Embassy
Israeli officials have asked the Swedish government to intervene and prevent the protest. They called the decision a “hate crime”, according to The Times of Israel.
Muslim nations have criticized Sweden for permitting the burning of the Quran during small anti-Islam protests, resulting in backlash. Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, along with other representatives and Jewish organizations, strongly condemned the actions.
“I unequivocally condemn the permission granted in Sweden to burn holy books,” Herzog said in a statement, according to Gulf News.
“The police does not issue permits to burn various religious texts – the police issues permits to hold a public gathering and express an opinion,” said Carina Skagerlind, press officer for Stockholm police.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called on Swedish officials to take action and stop this “despicable event”, emphasizing the importance of preventing the burning of a Torah scroll.
Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef also appealed to Sweden’s figurehead king. The rabbi urged him to intervene and strongly condemned both the planned event and the recent burning of the Quran in front of a mosque in Sweden.
Burning of Torah and Bible in response to Quran-burning incident
The protest is in response to a Quran-burning incident that occurred outside a mosque in Stockholm last month. It was carried out by an immigrant from Iraq, according to AP News.
The Stockholm police have granted approval for the protest, according to The Associated Press. The demonstration is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Saturday. As per the report, three individuals are going to participate outside the Israeli Embassy.
The Swedish constitution strongly protects the right to hold public demonstrations. The country abandoned blasphemy laws in the 1970s. When granting permissions for public gatherings, the police assess whether the event can be conducted without causing significant disruptions or posing risks to public safety.