The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian government has strongly criticized a series of acts targeting Islamic symbols that occurred in at least three foreign countries recently.
They include the destruction of the Quran in Sweden and Norway as well as the republication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad by a French magazine.
“These acts are irresponsible and provocative and have offended hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Friday.
“They are contrary to the principles and values of democracy and may potentially disunite religious communities, just when the world needs unity to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Last Friday, a demonstration of about 300 people led to at least 10 people being arrested and several police officers being injured in the Swedish city of Malmo, foreign media reported.
The violence was triggered by an illegal protest earlier that day in Rosengard, a largely migrant neighborhood, where far-right activists burned a copy of the Quran.
The leader of Danish far-right anti-immigration party Stram Kurs, Rasmus Paludan, was expected to attend that rally, but was stopped by the police at the Swedish-Danish border and subsequently banned from entering Sweden for two years.
Last year, Paludan was in the spotlight after burning a Quran wrapped in bacon. In June, he was sentenced to three-months’ imprisonment in Denmark over racism and defamation.
Following Paludan’s detention last Friday, members of anti-Islam group Stop the Islamization of Norway (SION) held a protest in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on Saturday, where protesters tore out pages of the Quran and spat on them.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo republished controversial caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.
The cover of the special edition showed the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad along with the headline: “All that for that.”
The cover was published to mark the start of the trial of the alleged accomplices of the Islamist gunmen who attacked the magazine’s offices in 2015 and killed 12 of its staffers.