Baghdad, Iraq – A group of protesters set fire to the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad on Thursday, July 20, 2023, in response to a planned burning of a copy of the Quran in Stockholm, Sweden.
The protesters, who were chanting slogans against Sweden and its government, breached the embassy compound and threw petrol bombs at the building, causing extensive damage and smoke. The embassy staff were evacuated before the attack and no casualties were reported.
The Iraqi security forces arrived at the scene and dispersed the crowd with tear gas and water cannons. They also arrested several suspects involved in the incident.
The Swedish government condemned the attack and called for calm and respect for religious freedom. It also said that it had no control over the planned Quran burning, which was organized by a far-right group called the Nordic Resistance Movement.
The Iraqi government also denounced the attack and ordered the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador from its territory. It said that it would not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty or any insult to its religious beliefs.
The planned Quran burning in Stockholm was scheduled for Friday, July 21, 2023, to coincide with the anniversary of the 2011 Norway attacks, which were carried out by a far-right extremist who killed 77 people. The Nordic Resistance Movement said that it wanted to protest against what it called the “Islamization” of Europe and the “betrayal” of the Norwegian people.
The Quran burning has sparked outrage and condemnation from various Muslim countries and organizations, as well as from human rights groups and interfaith leaders. They have urged the Swedish authorities to prevent the event and to protect the rights and safety of Muslims in Sweden.