Iraq says OIC to hold emergency meeting over Quran sacrilege in Europe

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry has announced that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) plans to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the desecration of the Holy Quran in Europe. However, it did not specify the exact time and venue of the OIC’s emergency meeting.

The ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the ministerial OIC meeting is set to be convened following the recent incidents involving the desecration of the holy Muslim book in Sweden and Denmark.

The meeting is in response to two requests submitted by Iraq’s Foreign Ministry to the OIC over the incidents in Sweden and Denmark, which provoked the feelings of about two billion Muslims around the world, the statement read, according to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

It further noted that the emergency meeting is expected to address “the most important collective procedures and positions of the member states” regarding the recent cases of insults to the holy Muslim book as well as “mechanisms to confront the phenomenon of Islamophobia.”

“Provocative and heinous practices against Islamic sanctities are fueled by laws that permit them under the pretext of freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate, and this revives hatred and extremism, threatens social peace and security, and brings human societies back to the [era] of violence,” it added.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry also called on the international community to adhere to “moral and civilized obligations in a responsible and equal manner by dealing in accordance with what was stipulated in international resolutions, by criminalizing racism and … its followers in the world.”

“Religions and races should be respected together, and practices that disgrace their symbols and followers should be criminalized,” it added.

Members of the ultra-nationalist “Danish Patriots” group on Friday set fire to a book purported to be the Qur’an, as well as an Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Copenhagen, live-streaming the action on Facebook.

It came a day after an assembly was held outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, where two people burned a copy of Muslims’ holy book as well as the Iraqi flag.

The Swedish media reported that one of two people is the same person who set a Quran on fire outside a Stockholm mosque in June.

On June 28, Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi immigrant stomped on the Quran before setting several pages alight in front of Stockholm’s largest mosque. The insult to the Muslim holy book was made under the authorization and protection of the Swedish police.

The incident, coinciding with the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha and the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, drew condemnations from Muslims across the world.

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