Deportation of Quran Burner Sparks Controversy in Sweden

Quran Burner

Stockholm: Sweden’s migration court has ordered the deportation of an Iraqi refugee who sparked controversy by burning the Quran several times. In 2023, Salwan Momika (37), who burned and desecrated copies of the Quran in front of embassies and mosques of Muslim countries in Sweden, will be deported.

Swedish radio station Echot reported that the court upheld the migration agency’s decision to deport him and rejected Salwan’s appeal last year. The court also observed that Salwan had given false information about the residence permit application.

He received a permanent residence permit in Sweden in 2021. Following the controversy, the Migration Agency decided to deport Salwan on October 26, 2023. However, the order was not implemented due to fears of torture in Iraq. Then a temporary residence permit was issued. Its tenure is till April 2024.

The court found Salwan complicit in a serious crime and banned him from returning to Sweden for five years in addition to deportation. Since June 28, 2023, several incidents of desecration of the Qur’an have been reported in Sweden. This led to protests by various countries and the Swedish ambassadors were summoned.

The OIC, a group of Muslim countries, had protested the burning of the Quran in Stockholm. The OIC, which is a member of 57 Muslim countries, demanded that strict action be taken against the culprits and that legislation be introduced at the international level to combat anti-Muslim movements. The OIC said that the practice of disparaging a religious group and its holy scriptures is in no way acceptable in conjunction with the end of freedom of expression.