“We are saddened by what happened today – a new ugly act…,” Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said during a speech on Thursday, Lebanon’s al-Ahed news website reported.
“What we witnessed is a provocation to the feelings of Muslims, and it is clear that whoever burned or desecrated the Holy Qur’an was with the permission of the Swedish government, and he is the same person who burned the Qur’an some time ago,” he added.
Just hours earlier, Salwan Momik, a Sweden-based Iraqi refugee, had stomped on a copy of the Qur’an and kicked the Muslim holy book during a demonstration outside Stockholm’s main mosque amid strict protection provided for the rally by the Swedish police.
The act of sacrilege has opened the floodgates of protest across the world’s Muslim community.
Hours before the planned desecration, hundreds of Iraqi protesters amassed outside the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, scaling its walls and setting fire to parts of it. Baghdad expelled Sweden’s envoy and withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm.
This was the second time Momik was disrespecting the Qur’an amid the approval of Sweden’s authorities. He had set a copy of the holy book on fire last month too, prompting similar raging protests across the Muslim world.
The Hezbollah leader praised the Iraqi reaction as “a brave and wise act, and an excellent stance,” calling on all Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.
“If we want the burning and desecration of the Holy Qur’an that happened in Sweden not to be repeated, then all Arab and Islamic countries must do what Iraq did,” he said.
Nasrallah also called on people across the global Muslim community to stage a monumental presence in the upcoming Friday prayers and rally in front of mosques following the prayers to convey their condemnation of the heinous act of profanity.
“We should tell this to the entire world that we protect this Qur’an with our hearts and blood,” he said.
“This is all our responsibility. The entire world should see how we embrace and read our scripture when it is subjected to desecration,” the Hezbollah leader concluded.