The recent Quran burning by anti-Islam activists sparked a debate between religious hatred and free speech and sent shockwaves through Norway’s growing Islamic community.
Sputnik News Following the uproar created by the recent attempt to set fire to Islam’s central scripture, three Muslim organisations will distribute 10,000 free copies of the Quran to Norwegians in an attempt to prevent future instances of Quran burning. (Only if the they hand out the whitewashed Norwegian version of the quran without all the hatred and violence that’s in the original)
The Norwegian Muslim Arts and Culture Association, the Islamic Literature Association and the Minhaj-ul-Quran Mosque in Oslo intend to distribute a total of 10,000 copies of the Quran at several stands in the Norwegian capital and possibly Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city, sometimes seen as the nation’s cultural capital, the newspaper Vårt Land reported.
The Quran distribution will be funded by the three organisations, as well as donations by private individuals. The action is intended as a response to the burning of the Quran by the organisation Stop Islamisation of Norway (SIAN) during a demonstration in Kristiansand over two weeks ago.
“I believe many people are curious about what the Quran contains and what Muslims stand for. We hope this project can help demystify the Quran’s content,” Hamza Ansari, board member of the Norwegian-Pakistani Minhaj-ul-Quran mosque in Oslo, told Vårt land.
The Quran burning in Kristiansand, which resulted in violent clashes and arrests, sparked a heated debate in Norway concerning the border between free speech and religious hatred.
While some argued that such actions were destructive, drawing historic parallels with the 1938 Kristallnacht, when Nazis carried out massive pogroms against Jews, others, including Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr, insisted that Quran burning was indeed covered by the freedom of speech and suggested that police overstepped their powers as it interfered to stop the fire.
Meanwhile, the Quran burning has sent ripples across the Muslim world, with Turkey, Pakistan and Iran issuing their formal condemnations.
According to al-Jazeera in Pakistan, burning a quran not only will get you arrested. When people in surrounding villages learned that a man had burned copies of the Quran, they stormed the police station where the man was being held, severely beat him, then set him on fire (below).
Additionally, the Norwegian flag was torched during a demonstration in Karachi, while calls to boycott and ostracise Norway were made on social media.
Stop Islamisation of Norway (SIAN) dates back to the early 2000s. Its stated goal is counter the proliferation of Islam, which it views as a totalitarian political ideology that violates the Norwegian Constitution as well as democratic and human values.
Norway’s Muslim community has grown exponentially over the past few decades and is now estimated to constitute 5.7 percent of the country’s population of 5.2 million, accounting for well over 10 percent or higher in some municipalities.
Quran burnings are a staple of the right-wing Danish Party Stram Kurs (“Hard line”), whose leader Rasmus Paludan celebrates it as a token of free speech.