Norwegian Ambassador responds over strong protest from Pakistan government
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has lodged a protest with Norway over desecration of the Holy Quran in the Nor¬wegian city of Kristiansand.
Norwegian Ambassador Kjell-Gunnar Eriksen was summoned to the Foreign Office and conveyed “deep concern of the government and people of Pakistan” over the incident.
Pakistan urged the ambassador to bring those involved in desecration of the Holy Quran incident to justice and to prevent the recurrence of any such incident in the future.
Lars Thorsen, a leader of an anti-Islam group, set fire to a copy of the Quran the other day, while another leader of the far-right group Arne Tumyr desecrated two other copies of the holy book by throwing them into a trash bin during a demonstration organised by their organisation.
Muslims across the world have been praising the Muslim man – now being called the ‘Defender of Quran’ – who attacked Lars Thorsen, the leader of the ‘Stop Islamisation of Norway (SIAN)’, for burning a copy of the Holy Quran during an anti-Islam rally in Norway. The incident happened in the city of Kristiansand despite apparent warnings from local police officials when the anti-Islam group said it planned to do so.
Ambassador Eriksen, meanwhile, tweeted that Norwegian government “disapproves” the act of the Quran burning in the right-wing demonstration. He said that the police stopped the demonstration “for security reasons”.
He insisted that in Norway “everyone has the right to free speech and to practice their religion without being harassed”.
Pakistan told Ambassador Eriksen that such actions hurt the sentiments of 1.3 billion Muslims around the world, including those in Pakistan. Furthermore, such actions could not be justified in the name of freedom of expression, Foreign Office said.
Pakistan’s ambassador in Oslo Zaheer Parvez Khan has been directed to lodge Pakistan’s protest with the Norwegian foreign ministry.