Baghdad, 22 July, 2023 (GNP): Hundreds of protesters attempted to storm Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, housing foreign embassies and Iraq’s government, in response to reports of a Quran burning by a far-right group in Denmark. The incident, which took place in front of the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen, has ignited anger and condemnation from Iraqis, leading to demonstrations near the Green Zone.
As per the sources, nearly 1,000 protesters gathered in Baghdad, chanting against the desecration of the Holy Quran. They raised copies of the Quran and the Iraqi flag, expressing their rejection of the desecration, which has occurred three times in less than a month – twice in Sweden and once in Copenhagen.
The protesters showed support for influential Iraqi Shia religious and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr, carrying images of the leader and flags associated with his movement.
Security forces prevented the protesters from reaching the Danish embassy by blocking the Jumhuriya bridge leading to the Green Zone. Another protest is planned for later in the day.
According to Danish media reports, the far-right, ultra-nationalist group Danske Patrioter burned a copy of the Quran and an Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen while livestreaming the scene on Facebook.
In response to the incident in Copenhagen, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the act of abuse against the Holy Quran and the Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi Embassy. The government called on the international community to draft laws to prevent such aggressions and violations of social peace and coexistence worldwide.
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Separately, demonstrators set fire to the headquarters of the Danish Refugee Council in the Basra governorate of Iraq, reported by local media.
The recent incidents come after protests erupted in Baghdad, resulting in the storming and burning of the Swedish embassy, following a Quran desecration event in Sweden. Iraq’s prime minister cut diplomatic ties with Sweden in protest over the desecration, and Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East also expressed their condemnation.