Turkey, UAE condemn Quran protest in the Netherlands
Istanbul: Turkey has summoned the Dutch ambassador following a demonstration targeting Islam’s holy book – Quran, days after a similar protest in Sweden tensed relations.
On Sunday, Dutch leader of the far-right Pegida movement in Netherland, Edwin Wagensveld tore pages out of the copy of the Quran near the Dutch parliament and stomped on the pages. As per reports by news agency Associated Press, police looked on but did not intervene.
In the video posted on the site of Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, Wagensveld can be heard saying: “It is about freedom of expression and I think that should be possible in the Netherlands.”
The Turkish foreign ministry condemned the “vile attack” calling it a proof of Islamophobia, discrimination and xenophobia in Europe.
The ministry told the Dutch ambassador that they expected concrete precautions to prevent and not permit similar demonstrations in the future, and that authorities take action against Wagensveld.
UAE condemns burning copy of Quran
The UAE has also strongly condemned the burning of a copy of Quran by an extremist in The Hague, Netherlands.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) affirmed the UAE’s permanent rejection of all practices aimed at destabilising security in contravention of human and moral values and principles.
The Ministry also emphasised the need to respect religious symbols and to avoid incitement and polarisation at a time when the world must work together to spread the values of tolerance and coexistence and reject hatred and extremism.
Relations between Turkey and the Netherlands were shattered in 2017 when Dutch authorities barred Turkish officials from campaigning for a referendum among the Turkish diaspora there. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upped the ante by comparing the Dutch to Nazis, and ambassadors were withdrawn.
On Saturday, a far-right anti-Islam activist burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. Turkey strongly condemned the act and Sweden for allowing the demonstration, with Erdogan declaring Sweden shouldn’t expect Turkey’s support for its NATO bid.
With inputs from AP
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