Swedish reporter sacked over comments 'criticising' planned Quran-burnings

Swedish reporter sacked over comments 'criticising' planned Quran-burnings
A Swedish correspondent has been fired after comments he made against far-right leader Rasmus Paludan, who allegedly burned the Quran and organised far-right rallies in Sweden.
2 min read
21 April, 2022
Plans to burn the holy Quran in Swedish cities by a far right-group over the weekend sparked clashes between demonstrators and police [Getty]

The Swedish national broadcaster SVT has dismissed one of its correspondents over comments criticising a Danish far-right party leader following riots over alleged Quran burnings, Al Jazeera Mubasher reported on Thursday.

The network’s director Anton Svendsen, stated that the correspondent "violated" the channel’s impartiality policy, following an investigation into his reporting.

The reporter criticised Rasmus Paludan, a Swedish-Danish politician who heads the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, who said he burned a copy of the Quran and planned a series of rallies in cities across Sweden, which were later cancelled.

The reporter was quoted as telling Paludan to "go home" and called him an idiot.

Clashes broke out in several Swedish cities between protesters demonstrating against the far-right group and police, leading to the arrest of at least 26 people as of Monday, and the wounding of 40.

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Paludan, who intends to stand in Sweden’s legislative elections in September, is visiting cities in the country with significant Muslim populations.

There have been threats to burn copies of the Quran at the rallies, as Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan.

The far-right leader has previously been convicted in 2020 for racist speech, racism, and defamation.

He insists that he is not violating Swedish law and exercising his right to "freedom of speech".

Several Muslim-majority nations - including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan - have condemned the alleged burning incidents, calling them a "provocation of Muslims around the world".

The New Arab has approached STV for comment on the issue.