President Ranil Wickremesinghe strongly condemned the burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden.
He urged Western nations to uphold the value system of the Global South and refrain from allowing disturbances under the pretext of freedom of expression.
“Towards the end of last month, Salwan Momika sought permission from the court to burn the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Sweden. Despite the police refusing permission, the Supreme Court Administrative Court ruled that it falls within the realm of the right to freedom of expression. In this instance, the police acted based on the right to practice religion, while the Supreme Court asserted the right to express opinions. The burning of the Holy Quran triggered significant uproar in the area, impacting Sweden as well as numerous other nations,” he said.
The act was universally condemned, with even Israel expressing that such actions should not take place. It was emphasized that the Quran is a sacred book tha pertains to the God of Abraham, and therefore, it should be treated with utmost respect, he said.
Wickremesinghe said that Sweden has unequivocally stated that burning the Holy Quran is an repulsive and disrespectful act, amounting to incitement. However, they subsequently emphasized the importance of constitutionally protecting freedom of expression and the right to assembly.
In response to this standpoint, certain Western governments have argued that this act falls within the realm of freedom of expression. Consequently, Pakistan has taken the matter to the Geneva Human Rights Council, submitting a proposal that deems it a violation of international law. A meeting has been scheduled in Geneva on Thursday (13) to address this issue.