TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The desecration of the Quran by right-wing activists earlier this month in Sweden and the Netherlands was denounced by hundreds of believers gathering in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.
- World news -
The disgraceful act infuriated millions of Muslims throughout the world and led to a string of rallies.
Protests were held Friday in several predominantly Muslim countries to denounce the recent desecration of Islam's holy book by far-right activists in Sweden and the Netherlands.
The protests in countries including Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon ended with people denouncing the desecration of the Quran in the two European countries.
In the Iranian capital of Tehran, hundreds of people marched after Friday prayers during which they burned a Swedish flag.
In Beirut, about 200 angry protesters burned the flags of Sweden and the Netherlands outside the blue-domed Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque at Beirut's central Martyrs Square.
Small protests over the Quran burning also took place in Bahrain, a small island nation in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month, Rasmus Paludan, a far-right activist from Denmark, received permission from police to stage a protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm where he burned the Quran. Days later, Edwin Wagensveld, Dutch leader of the far-right Pegida group in the Netherlands, tore pages out of a copy of the Quran near the Dutch Parliament and stomped on them.
The moves angered millions of Muslims around the world and triggered protests.
On Friday, Paludan, who holds both Danish and Swedish citizenship, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that he would replicate the protest in front of the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen every Friday until Sweden is admitted into NATO.
Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said the Danish ambassador was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry where Turkish officials "strongly condemned the permission given to this provocative act which clearly constitutes a hate crime."
Iraq's Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr asked in comments released Friday whether freedom of speech means offending other people's beliefs. He asked why "doesn't the burning of the rainbow flag represent freedom of expression."
The cleric added that burning the Quran "will bring divine anger." Hundreds of his supporters gathered outside a mosque in Baghdad waving copies of the Quran.