Indonesia summons Sweden envoy over Quran burning

The burning of the Quran by a far-right activist in Stockholm sparked rallies outside Swedish missions in several countries. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

JAKARTA - Indonesia summoned Sweden’s envoy on Tuesday over the burning of the Quran by a far-right activist in Stockholm at the weekend, officials in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation said.

Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan last Saturday torched a copy of the Islamic holy book in front of Turkey’s embassy in the Swedish capital, stoking the anger of Ankara, which said it would not support the Scandinavian country’s bid for Nato membership.

Sweden’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Ms Marina Berg, was summoned as Jakarta lodged an official complaint against the anti-Islamic act, Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told AFP.

“Yes, (we will meet her) within this week,” Ms Faizasyah said, without disclosing a date.

The Swedish Embassy confirmed Ms Berg would hold a meeting with an official from Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry, without specifying the day it would take place.

Swedish leaders have roundly condemned Mr Paludan’s actions, but defended their country’s broad definition of free speech.

Mr Paludan’s burning of the Quran sparked rallies outside Swedish missions in several countries, including Turkey and Iraq, where protesters torched the Swedish flag on Monday and a policeman and seven protesters were injured.

Ankara last Saturday called off a visit by Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson that had been scheduled for Friday, after summoning the Swedish Ambassador and saying the meeting “has lost its significance and meaning”.

Mr Paludan, who has already been convicted of racist abuse, provoked rioting in Sweden last year when he went on a tour of the country during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and publicly burned copies of the Quran. AFP

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