Friday, June 30, 2023

On Wednesday, an Iraqi immigrant to Sweden tore up and burned a Quran after receiving permission to do so as an act of protest, A Swedish court ruled that burning the Quran was a legal expression of free speech and the police gave a permit for the action.

In response, the Muslim world is seething. Many Muslim-majority countries lodged protests against Sweden, and there were riots in Iraq as protesters attempted to break into the Swedish embassy.

In 1976, on Yom Kippur eve, a group of Arab youths - fueled by a false rumor that Jews had torn Qurans - stormed through the synagogue at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and tore up numerous Hebrew holy books as well as several handwritten Torahs which were ripped to shreds.

The desecration of the Torah is much, much worse than tearing or ripping a printed Quran. The best analogy to a ripped Quran would be to a torn up Chumash, a mass printed version of the Torah; tearing up a Torah is more like tearing up a handwritten Quran manuscript.

And Jewish prayer books, chumashim and other holy books are desecrated by Palestinian Arabs much more often than you know. 

In 2007, I visited Samuel's Tomb in Israel, unaware that Arabs had rampaged through there the previous Friday night, tearing prayer books, heavily damaging the Torah ark and stealing a Torah. 

Nearly all Israeli media ignored this incident. Because Arabs desecrating Jewish holy books and sites is simply not worth mentioning. 

It was hardly a unique occurrence. 

Also in 2007, Arabs burned down a synagogue near Doled, destroying Torah scrolls. 

In 2009, Arabs raided a yeshiva in Homesh and destroyed many volumes of Chumash and Talmud. 

In 2012, Arab youths were caught trying to burn books of Psalms at the Mount of Olives. 

Holy books at the Tomb of Joseph have been destroyed by Arabs more than once. 

Prayer books were burned in an attack at a Gush Etzion synagogue in 2016.

In 2022, Arabs burned a Jewish center in Harasha and destroyed many holy books. 

When has the Muslim world condemned these incidents against holy Jewish books - equivalent or far worse than the desecration of one of hundreds of millions of printed Qurans?

They haven't, and this weakens their pretense of outrage. If you demand that people respect your holy objects, then at a minimum you should do the same. 

The Muslim outrage over Sweden is not about their disgust at a holy book being desecrated. It is an expression of Islamic supremacy. 

They want the entire world to adhere to Muslim laws against blasphemy and that everyone should enshrine Islamic laws against destroying the Quran. These protests are just as much political as they are expressions of popular anger: they send a message that unless the West acts as Muslims demand, they can expect violence. 

Any attempts to impose Muslim mores or beliefs on the world must be opposed wholeheartedly. It is an attack on everyone's freedom.


That being said, Sweden's legal ruling allowing the burning was wrong. 

From the narrow perspective of freedom of expression, yes, burning a Quran - just like burning a flag - is valid and should not be illegal. But there is another, far more important issue here.

The deliberate burning of the Quran is a hate crime. It was meant not as a message of freedom but as a direct attack on the sensibilities of Muslims worldwide. It was not an expression of criticism of Islam but an expression of hate against Islam and Muslims, by an apparent ex-Muslim. 

And Sweden does have hate crime laws.

The Swedish Penal Code, chapter 16, section 8, says:
A person who, in a disseminated statement or communication, threatens or expresses contempt for a national, ethnic or other such group of persons with allusion to race, colour, national or ethnic origin or religious belief shall, be sentenced for agitation against a national or ethnic group to imprisonment for at most two years or, if the crime is petty, to a fine. (Law 1988:835)   
The deliberate burning of a Quran is an expression of contempt for believing Muslims. As such, it should be illegal - and so should the deliberate burning of Jewish holy books.

The protester could make the same point by burning a photo of a Quran. Destroying symbols of a religion or other protected group is criticism; destroying actual objects of importance to those groups is hate. 

That is where the line should be drawn between freedom of expression and purposeful hate.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Blog Archive