Far-right leader provokes Muslims with Quran burning stunt outside Swedish mosque
Far-right Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Padulan has sparked outrage for burning the holy Quran in front of a mosque in the Swedish city of Uppsala on Sunday.
Padulan, who heads the Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, parked in his car in front of the mosque, pulled out a copy of the Muslim holy book and proceeded to burn it, in a deliberate provocation.
The far-right leader was subsequently attacked by mosque attendees, which forced him to flee in his car in footage widely shared online.
BREAKING: Racist Danish activist Rasmus Paludan drives his car at Muslims after group chased him to stop Quran burning attempt in #Sweden.— Robert Carter (@Bob_cart124) May 1, 2022
Earlier that day he burned a Quran in #Stockholm. pic.twitter.com/GwlIUEgzGG
Police arrived at the scene later and tried to restore calm in the area.
The attempt to burn the Quran came as Muslim worshippers were observing the last day Ramadan and preparing for Eid al-Fitr celebrations, which marks the end of the fasting month.
Swedish police did not grant Paludan permission to hold a demonstration to desecrate the Muslim holy book, reported Al Jazeera Mubasher.
Yasser Abu al-Jishah, Uppsala Mosque’s deputy director, expressed his disappointment over the lack of police handling of the situation.
"We talked to the police and local politicians, and we said that we would not be able to control the events if he came to [the mosque]," Abu Al-Jishah told local media.
"Many of us feel let down by the police because they didn't stop him from coming here, just like how they didn't stop him before," he added.
This is not the first time that Paludan, who who intends to stand in Sweden’s legislative elections in September, has attempted to burn a copy of the Quran.
The far-right provocateur has desecrated the religious book on multiple occasions, including last month, when clashes between far-right sympathisers and counter-protesters broke out in central Sweden. At lest 26 people were injured and 40 others arrested.
The far-right group, along with Padulan, planned multiple Quran-burning and anti-Islam demonstrations across several Swedish cities, targeting communities with large concentrations of Muslim populations.
Several Muslim-majority nations - including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq - have decried the alleged burning incidents, calling them "deliberate abuse to incite against Muslims".