Footage of a rocket being fired at the Swedish flag is not in response to a recent Quran burning in Sweden

By: Arron Williams
July 4 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Footage of a rocket being fired at the Swedish flag is not in response to a recent Quran burning in Sweden


The Verdict False

The footage dates back to February 2023 and is in response to a Quran burning from January.

Claim ID a76bb6f2


Social media users have linked a video of a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fired at the Swedish flag to a recent Quran burning in Sweden on June 28, 2023. The posts claim the video shows the Taliban in Afghanistan blowing up the flag in response to a copy of the Quran being burnt outside a mosque on Eid al-Adha. 

Reuters reports that on June 28, during a protest outside Stockholm’s central mosque, a man wiped his shoes on a copy of the Quran, tore out pages, put bacon in it, and burned it. Another protester spoke through a megaphone at the same time. Swedish police granted permission for the protest to occur after courts overruled decisions rejecting applications for anti-Quran demonstrations, stating that they infringed on freedom of speech. Police later charged the man with agitation against an ethnic group. 

In Fact

The video footage is from earlier in 2023 and is not a response to the Quran burning in June.

When researching the footage, Logically Facts discovered that social media posts and news outlets had reported on the same video in February 2023. This includes a Daily Mail article, which shared screenshots, and a Newsline World YouTube video, which includes the same footage. This confirms that the footage dates back at least February 2023, but no further information could ascertain exactly when the video was created. 

According to both outlets, the destruction of the Swedish flag was in response to a Quran burning in Sweden in January 2023. The Guardian report on the incident states that a copy of the Quran was burned on January 21, 2023, by the Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan. The demonstration was part of a protest in Stockholm outside the Turkish embassy. The video has been misattributed as a response to the events in June.

Both the Daily Mail and Newsline World claim that the men in the video are members of the Taliban. While it appears that a Taliban flag can be seen in some parts of the footage, there is no evidence that the men are members of the Taliban or that the footage is from Afghanistan. 

The Verdict

The footage of an RPG destroying the Swedish flag is from earlier this year and is not a response to the Quran burning on June 28. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

Read this fact-check in:

English , Svenska

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before