Norwegian Government strongly disapproves of the Quran burning: Kjell Gunnar Eriksen

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: The Norwegian ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Kjell Gunnar Eriksen said that the government of Norway strongly disapproves of the Quran burning in the right-wing demonstration in Kristiansand; through his official twitter account he said the police stopped the demonstration for security reasons. In Norway everyone has the right to free speech and to practice their religion without being harassed, the ambassador added.

Reports from Norway suggest that situation is under control and government has effectively overcome the situation.

The Foreign Office on Saturday through ambassador of Norway to Pakistan conveyed the “deep concern” of the government and people of Pakistan over an incident of desecration of the Holy Quran in the Norwegian city of Kristiansand. “It was underscored that such actions hurt the sentiments of 1.3 billion Muslims around the world, including those in Pakistan,” the press release said, adding that such actions could not be justified in the name of “freedom of expression”.

An anti-Islam rally in Kristiansand had turned violent last week after its leader attempted to set fire to a copy of the Quran despite warnings from police officials. Videos that surfaced on social media showed a Muslim youth jumping over a fence and kicking the person burning the holy book. Police then intervened and took the anti-Islam protester and the Muslim youth into custody.

According to the statement, the FO urged the Norwegian authorities to bring those responsible for the act to justice and to “prevent the recurrence of any such incident in the future”. The ambassador of Pakistan in Oslo has also been instructed to convey Pakistan’s protest and deep concern over the incident to the Norwegian authorities, the FO added.

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