Far-right Danish-Swedish politician plans ‘to burn Quran’ in England
Danish-Swedish far-right political activist Rasmus Paludan said he plans to burn the Muslim holy book, the Quran, in a public square in the English town of Wakefield this week.
Paludan said in a video message on Twitter on Sunday that he was traveling to the UK to “burn the Quran” in public on Wednesday, March 22, which coincides with the first day of Ramadan for millions of Muslims.
“[This is] to show the undemocratic forces in Wakefield that we will fight back whenever you try to wear us down, whenever you try to humiliate us,” he said.
Paluden said he would be carrying out the act in revenge for the suspension of a schoolboy from Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, who he claimed had put “people, criminals and undemocratic forces in grave danger,” in an incident involving the Quran.
In March, a 14-year-old autistic student “accidentally” dropped a copy of the Quran at Kettlethorpe High School, causing “minor damage” and scuffing to the pages.
Police who investigated said it was a “non-crime hate incident”; the boy’s mother apologized, and he returned to school after suspension.
Paludan founded a far-right fringe party, Stram Kurs (Hard Line), in 2017, which since its inception has failed to cross the threshold to win seats in the 2019 Danish general election and won no council seats in the local area. poll in 2017.
Sweden: The Quran burning incident is hate speech, not free speech
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Stram Kurs appears to be a nobody’s party, almost exclusively associated with Paludan, who is known for his anti-Islamic and anti-immigration views.
Despite becoming a Swedish citizen in October, he was previously banned from entering Sweden in 2020 due to his views on Islam and non-European immigration.
He is known for being a serial Quran burner and has been assigned constant police protection since June 2020 following an attempted attack against him in Denmark.
In January, Paludan received permission to stage a demonstration outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm to “burn the Quran”.
Paludan set the holy book on fire in the east after an almost hour-long diatribe in which he attacked Islam and immigration in Sweden.
“If you don’t think there should be freedom of speech, you have to live somewhere else,” he said.
Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said Paludan’s Islamophobic motivations were appalling. The incident led to a diplomatic rift with Turkey, canceling the Swedish defense minister’s planned visit to Ankara.
MEE sought comment from West Yorkshire Police.