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Pope Francis condemns burning of Muslim holy book, Koran, in Stockholm



Pope Francis has condemned the burning of the Koran at a recent incident in Stockholm when two men burned a copy of the Muslim holy book.

“I feel angry and disgusted by these actions,” he said. Local media reported on Monday.

“Any book considered holy must be respected out of respect for those who believe in it, and freedom of expression should never be used as an excuse to despise others,” he added.

“Allowing this is rejected and condemned,” the pope said.

Two men took part in a demonstration in the Swedish capital where the Islamic holy book was set alight on Wednesday, the first day of Muslims’ Eid al-Adha holiday.

Several Muslim-majority countries  had condemned the incident and castigated Swedish diplomats, saying the act incited hatred and should not count as free speech.

The latest was Saudi Arabia, where the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it had summoned the Swedish ambassador in Riyadh to express the Kingdom’s “categorical rejection of the disgraceful act carried out by an extremist.”

It called on the Swedish government “to stop all acts that directly contradict international efforts seeking to spread the values of tolerance, moderation and rejection of extremism.

“The Swedish government should not undermine the necessary mutual respect for relations between peoples and states.”

Sweden said that the action was permitted under the country’s freedom of expression laws, but was not appropriate.

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