Turkey: Norway revoked permission to burn a copy of the Qur’an

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Norway revoked permission to burn a copy of the Holy Quran, as a result of the warning sent by Ankara to it.

This came in a statement during an event held in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Thursday.

He stressed that globalization and accelerated change have created two types of simultaneous reactions in humanity, the first of which is the entry into one pattern, the erosion of national identities, and the loss of linguistic awareness.

Çavuşoğlu continued that the second reaction is hate crimes, racism, xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination and the phenomenon of Islamophobia.

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He added, “You have seen what happened in Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark (the burning of copies of the Holy Qur’an). The same thing would have happened in Norway. We summoned the Norwegian ambassador to Ankara to our ministry today and revoked the permission they gave to burn a copy of the Qur’an.”

And Çavuşoğlu added, “The crime against humanity is not freedom of expression. This is a hate crime, and hatred is not freedom of expression.”

He pointed out that Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland all have the same laws related to freedom of expression to some extent, except that Finland announced that it would not allow copies of the Holy Qur’an to be burned on its lands, and today Norway revoked permission to burn a copy of the Holy Qur’an.

And he indicated that Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands allowed the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an and insulting the Islamic religion, the religion of peace, under the pretext of freedom of expression.

The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed, “We consider the phenomenon of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianity as a crime against humanity.”

He stressed that they criticize Israel’s practices and violations of laws, but they do not have anti-Semitism categorically.

Earlier Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Oslo’s ambassador to Ankara, Erling Schönsberg, after receiving information about preparations to carry out an attack on the Holy Quran on Friday in Norway.

The ministry informed Schönsberg of its strong condemnation of Norway’s approach to not preventing this provocative act, which is clearly a hate crime, according to diplomatic sources.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed to the ambassador that this position is “unacceptable” and that it is waiting for Norway not to allow its implementation.