Islamophobia: Nigeria, 56 other OIC countries condemn Quran burning in Sweden


Nigeria and 56 other countries under the aegis of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Sunday condemned the recent incident of an Iraqi refugee living in Sweden who burned several pages of the Quran.

Nigeria is among the 57 African member states of the OIC.

The OIC represents the Muslim world’s collective voice and defends its interests.

The OIC is the second largest organisation after the United Nations, with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.

According to reports, Salwan Momika, 37, an Iraqi native, set fire to the holy book outside a mosque on the first day of Eid al-Adha.

The Swedish government condemned the burning of a Quran outside Stockholm’s major mosque as an “Islamophobic” act.

Last week, the government accused Mr Momika of incitement against an ethnic or national group.

But in a statement by the organisation, issued after a meeting in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah, the OIC secretary general Hissein Brahim Taha said a clear message must be sent across the international community regarding the international law, which prohibits “religious hatred.”

“We must send constant reminders to the international community regarding the urgent application of international law, which clearly prohibits any advocacy of religious hatred,” Mr Taha said.

In a related development, the Federal Administrative Court of Germany has declared the Blue Mosque, an Islamic centre in Hamburg, an “extremist Islamic organisation.”

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified the Blue Mosque’s operations as “extremist Islamist organisations” in 2018 and 2019.

The OIC said on its website that it “has the mandate to monitor Islamophobia trend and to provide periodical reports to member states; while being encouraged to take necessary measures to address the phenomenon in coordination and cooperation with member states, international communities and the UN Human Rights mechanism, as well as with other international entities whenever it is possible.”

It added that through a “dedicated unit within the OIC General Secretariat which is the Islamophobia Observatory, such mandate is being implemented mainly by monitoring events and incidents on (a) daily basis.”

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