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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh discusses desecrating Quran issue with Sweden, seeks election observers

  • Momen holds a tele-discussion with his Swedish counterpart 
  • FM expresses grave concern over the repeated acts 
  • Swedish minister terms desecration of Quran an offensive act
Update : 31 Jul 2023, 12:18 AM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday shared Bangladesh's grave concerns with his Swedish counterpart over the repeated acts of desecrating and burning copies of the Holy Quran in Sweden in recent times.

Dr Ak Abdul Momen held a tele-discussion with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billström regarding the issues arising out from the desecrating of the Holy Quran in Sweden in the past days, the foreign ministry said.

He also requested Sweden to send election observers to observe the upcoming general elections. 

Highlighting that Bangladesh strongly condemns any act of desecrating and burning of a copy of the Holy Quran, for that matter any religious scriptures, under any circumstances, Foreign Minister Momen expressed Bangladesh's grave concerns over the repeated acts of desecrating and burning of copies of the Holy Quran in Sweden in the past days.

He reiterated Bangladesh's call on all concerned to put an end to such unwarranted provocations for the sake of mutual respect, harmony and peaceful coexistence. 

Terming Sweden as a trusted friend of Bangladesh, Minister Momen expected that any such despicable act would not recur in Sweden.

The Swedish foreign minister mentioned that any Islamophobic acts are condemned and rejected by the Swedish government. 

He termed that desecration of the Holy Quran, or any other Holy Scripture is an offensive and disrespectful act.

He stated that public agencies in Sweden make independent decisions and accordingly, the Swedish Police Authority grants permits for demonstrations, but it does not grant permits to burn a copy of the Holy Quran, or any other Holy Scripture.

The Swedish foreign minister regretted that individuals, availing the Swedish constitutional right to freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of demonstration, misuse these freedoms to insult such values which are sacred to a religion.

He updated that the Swedish minister for justice has initiated an analysis of the Public Order Act, in light of the recent events.

Foreign Minister Momen stated that Bangladesh is a country of religious harmony, where religious events are joined by all irrespective of their faiths.

He expressed satisfaction that Swedish authorities are taking corrective measures. 

The Swedish minister termed Bangladesh society very tolerant and appreciated religious harmony prevailing in Bangladesh.

Referring to the upcoming general elections in Bangladesh either in December this year or January next year in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the country, Foreign Minister Momen expressed his firm conviction that Bangladesh Election Commission will conduct the elections in a free, fair and peaceful environment. 

He requested Sweden to send election observers to observe the elections. 

The Swedish foreign minister assured to convey the invitation to the relevant authorities of Sweden.

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