The Libyan Foreign Minister of the Parliament-designated government, Hafez Gaddour criticized the Swedish authorities after they allowed demonstrators, headed by the leader of a far-right party, to burn a copy of the Quran.
“I express my refusal to give permission from the Swedish authorities to demonstrators, led by the leader of a far-right party, who burned a copy of the Holy Quran,” the Libyan FM tweeted on Saturday.
“These extremist actions cannot fall under the principle of freedom of expression, but rather aggressive behavior that encourages hatred and fuels extremism and terrorism,” he stressed.
“The divine religions are honoured and appreciated, and the continuous attempts of extremists to offend, ridicule, and contempt cannot be accepted.”
On Saturday, the leader of the Danish far-right “hard-line” party, Rasmus Paludan, burned a copy of the Qur’an near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.
The racist incident took place under the strict protection of the police, who prevented anyone from approaching, while he committed the provocative act.
The incident sparked anger among Muslims, and condemnations from Arab and Islamic countries.
Moreover, Sweden’s Prime Minister has condemned it as “deeply disrespectful.” This has raised tensions with Turkey, as the Nordic country courts Ankara over its NATO bid, according to Reuters.
Notably, Libya has two rival governments, one in the east which is led by Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha and another one in the West led by PM Abdel-Hamid Dbaiba.
On 10 February 2022, the Libyan Parliament announced the unanimous appointment of Bashagha as the new Prime Minister. But Dbaiba warned that the appointment of a new interim government could lead to war and chaos in the country. He reiterated that he will “remain in office until elections are held, and will hand over power to an elected government.”
Last week, the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Ageela Saleh said that “the constitutional declaration is the legal basis for ending the current political blockage.” He called for all articles of the constitutional document to be put to a referendum, after being agreed upon by the Parliament and the High Council of State (HCS).