No, the Swedish Government does not support the burning of Qurans

By: Emmi Kivi
July 4 2023

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No, the Swedish Government does not support the burning of Qurans


The Verdict False

Permission to allow the Quran burning was granted on a legal basis, not because the cause was supported or authorized by the Swedish Government.

Claim ID 5801afc6


On June 28, 2023, Salwan Momika burned a Quran outside the Stockholm Mosque on the first day of the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha.

Following the event, false claims that the Swedish State supports the burning of Qurans have been circulating on social media. One such popular claim on Twitter stated that the government of Sweden supported and authorized the burning of the Quran on June 28. The video shows Momika kicking the Quran and holding the Swedish flag. Similar messaging has surfaced on TikTok.

In Fact

The decision by Swedish authorities to allow the Quran burning was based on law, not patronage. The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs condemned the burning of the Quran, calling it Islamophobia. "The burning of the Quran, or any other holy text, is an offensive and disrespectful act and a clear provocation. Expressions of racism, xenophobia, and related intolerance have no place in Sweden or in Europe," stated the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, adding that "we strongly condemn these acts, which in no way reflect the views of the Swedish government." The Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also stated that the Quran burning was "legal but not appropriate."

After Rasmus Paludan burned a Quran in January, the Swedish police declined requests of assembly that intended to burn a Quran on multiple occasions, referring to national security and increased threat from acts of terrorism. Salwan Momika had filed one of those requests.  

In April, an administrative court overturned the ban, ruling that the right to assembly and protest are protected under Sweden's constitutional laws. The general rule by Swedish law is that an application for permission to hold a public event should be accepted. The Court statement affirms, "the possibilities to deny the right for the freedom of assembly are very limited." A possible constraint to the freedom of assembly is that the event poses a concrete security threat. The Court decided that the consequences of the burning of the Qurans would not constitute a sufficient enough threat to overrule the fundamental rights of the Swedish people. After the court ruling, the Swedish police had to grant permission for the future demonstration.

Furthermore, in the Swedish freedom of expression laws, the police cannot pre-emptively deny the right to protest because someone might break the law. The person can only be charged after a criminal act has taken place. Since the Quran burning, the Swedish police have charged Momika with agitations against an ethnic or national group by burning the Quran near a Mosque and breaking the temporary ban on lighting fires due to a heightened risk of wildfires. The police were bound by law to allow the demonstration and ensure the peaceful right of assembly by guarding the demonstration site. 

The Verdict

The Swedish government has condemned the burning of the Quran. The decisions by Swedish authorities to permit the Quran burning were made on a legal basis, not because the cause was supported or authorized by the Swedish government. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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English , Svenska

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