From the blog

SWEDEN: Quran Burning Backlash Leave PM ‘Very Concerned’

With the sustained protest at Swedish embassies around the world following the public burning of the Quran, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Thursday said he was “very concerned” about the large number of applications for police permit for anti-Islam protests in the Scandinavian country.

Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm, the PM said he feared such protests could result in the burning of the Quran as the decision for approval of protests lies in the hands of the police and not his government.

“If they are approved, we have a number of days with the obvious risk that serious things could happen.”

Thousands of angry Muslims around the world demanding Sweden forbid such acts reacted by storming and burning the Swedish embassy in Iraq on July 20, for instance, as well as burning countless US, Israeli, Swedish and LGTBQ flags.

Sweden’s government strongly condemned the disrespectful act of Quran desecration carried out by an Iraqi dissident currently residing in Stockholm, but said its legal responsibility was to freedom of speech.

The country does not have laws forbidding the desecration of religious books, and the right to public protest is enshrined in Sweden’s constitution. Police permission to hold such events is weighed against the threat of major disruption and risk to public safety.

Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billstroem said he had been in close contact with his counterparts in a number of Muslim countries as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC).

The OIC will hold an emergency meeting to discuss Quran burnings in Sweden and Denmark on July 31. Beyond leading to the expulsion of Sweden’s ambassador to Iraq, the recent Quran desecrations have once again put Stockholm on a collision course with Turkey and its quest to join NATO