The destruction of the Quran by the Dutch extremist is the second such anti-Muslim event in Europe in less than a week.
Qatar condemned The Netherlands for allowing a far-right Dutch leader to desecrate a copy of the holy Quran, in the second such Islamophobic incident in Europe in less than a week.
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a statement on Tuesday that repeated violations of the Holy Quran under the guise of free speech incite “hatred and violence, threatens the values of peaceful coexistence, and reveals abhorrent double standards.”
The “barbaric” conduct is an act of incitement and a grave provocation to the world’s two billion Muslims, Doha warned.
The statement was issued after far-right Dutch politician and leader of the Islamophobic group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida), took to the streets of The Hague and tore out pages from the Quran.
Edwin Wagensveld posted a video of his provocative stunt in front of The Hague’s parliamentary building on Twitter.
Wagensveld asserted in the film that the city of The Hague had given him permission to ‘destroy’ the Quran despite already being detained twice for his anti-Muslim stunts, reports said.
A letter from The Hague Mayor Jan van Zanen, which was posted separately on Wagensveld’s Instagram page, authorised him to use “objects” in his protest but forbade him from setting them on fire for the sake of “public safety”.
“The right to protest and the right to freedom of expression are constitutionally and treaty-protected human rights and freedoms,” the letter said.
But it added that “in principle burning objects is not permitted, because this can cause danger.”
However, local police gave him approval under the condition that he not burn the Muslim holy book, reports said. Despite this, Wagensveld’s video revealed that he ultimately set the ripped pages of the Quran on fire inside a pan.
“Soon, there will be registrations for similar actions in several cities, time to answer disrespect from Islam with disrespect,” the Dutch extremist stated as he tore a page from the holy book and wrinkled it up.
“After having a nice bite to eat and a drink with our group, it was then time to burn the Quran’s remains,” he added.
Wagensveld is not new to such stunts.
He was detained by Dutch police in October before he could burn a Quran at a rally in Rotterdam attended by a small number of Pegida followers.
Responding to the latest incident, Turkey followed Qatar in condemning the act and went a step further by summoning the Dutch ambassador to Ankara, Joep Wijnands.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack of an anti-Islamic person in The Hague, Netherlands, on Jan. 22, targeting our holy book, the Holy Quran,” read a Turkish foreign ministry statement, according to reports.
“This despicable act that insults our sacred values and includes a hate crime, this time in the Netherlands after Sweden, is a clear declaration that ‘Islamophobia, discrimination and xenophobia know no bounds in Europe,’” it added.
Wagensveld is the second far right leader to target Muslims in Europe this week.
Swedish authorities triggered outrage among Muslim nations worldwide for authorising a protest that saw far-right leader, Rasmus Paludan, light the holy Quran on fire in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on Saturday.
Paludan, surrounded by police, attacked Islam and immigration during a nearly hour-long tirade before setting fire to the holy book.
Shortly after the incident, Qatar’s foreign ministry lashed out at Sweden and denounced the move, saying the “vile incident is an act of incitement and a serious provocation to the feelings of more than two billion Muslims in the world.”
Other countries joined in condemning the move, including Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kuwait.
In a statement on Sunday, Sweden’s prime minister Ulf Kristersson said the far-right leader’s move was “not necessarily appropriate” though fell short of condemning the incident.
“Freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy. But what is legal is not necessarily appropriate,” Kristersson said in a tweet, adding that burning holy books “is a deeply disrespectful act”.
“ I want to express my sympathy for all Muslims who are offended by what has happened in Stockholm today,” the Swedish official said.
In a tweet, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit condemned the burning of the holy scripture, calling on Sweden to condemn it.
“Freedom of speech should not be a pretext for extremists to ignite the fire of hatred between followers of different religions,” Aboul Gheit said while mentioning the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter.