3 August 2023
Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convey a joint stand condemning Quran burnings in several European countries.
During the OIC council of foreign ministers’ extraordinary meeting on Monday, Marsudi said that Indonesia cannot tolerate the disregard of blasphemy toward the holy book, which is respected by billions of Muslims worldwide.
“In the forum, we reaffirmed our position that freedom of expression must not hurt those who have closeness and respect for holy books,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teuku Faizasyah, during a press briefing on Tuesday.
During the meeting, OIC member states also affirmed their stand to call upon states to adopt legal measures and prohibit acts of blasphemy against the holy books of any religion, he added.
On July 12, 2023, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution condemning and strongly rejecting any advocacy of religious hatred, including the recent acts of desecration of the holy Quran. The resolution emphasized the need for holding those responsible accountable, in line with international human rights law obligations.
It also called upon states to adopt national laws, policies, and law enforcement frameworks that address, prevent, and prosecute acts and advocacy of religious hatred that incite discrimination, hostility, or violence, and to take immediate steps to ensure accountability.
At least five acts of desecration and Quran burning have been reported in 2023, all occurring in Europe.
One incident that drew global attention was that of an Iraqi immigrant in Sweden, Salwan Momika, holding a demonstration by burning the Quran outside a mosque in Stockholm on June 28, coinciding with Eid al-Adha.
The incident outraged Muslim-majority countries and raised questions about why such acts are allowed.
However, there is no law in Sweden specifically prohibiting the desecration of religious books. Like many Western countries, Sweden does not have any blasphemy laws. Moreover, freedom of speech is protected under the Swedish Constitution.