A Dutch leader of a far-right group desecrated a copy of the Quran in the second such anti-Muslim incident in Europe in less than a week.
Türkiye has summoned the Dutch ambassador in Ankara, Joep Wijnands, over “a vile attack” on Quran, Islam’s holy book, in The Hague.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the vile attack of an anti-Islamic person in The Hague, Netherlands, on January 22, targeting our holy book, the Quran,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This despicable act, which, after Sweden, took place this time in the Netherlands, insulting our sacred values and containing a hate crime, is a clear declaration that Islamophobia, discrimination and xenophobia know no bounds in Europe,” it added.
“These actions directly target the fundamental rights and freedoms, moral values and social tolerance of not only Muslims but all humanity, and it also harms the culture of living together in peace,” the statement stressed.
Ambassador Joep Wijnands was told that Türkiye condemns “the heinous and despicable act” and demands that the Netherlands do not allow such “provocative acts”.
“We expect the Dutch authorities to take necessary actions against the perpetrator of the incident and to implement concrete measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” it added.
The Dutch leader of the far-right group, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA), desecrated a copy of the Quran in the Netherlands on Monday, threatening to escalate the already tense situation following a similar anti-Muslim incident in Sweden over the weekend.
A video posted on social media on Monday showed anti-Muslim provocateur Edwin Wagensveld tearing apart Islam’s holy book before showing it being set on fire.
After he was arrested on two previous occasions because of his anti-Muslim activities, Wagensveld claimed in the video that he received permission from the city of The Hague for the “destruction of the Quran”.
Quran burning incident in Sweden
The destruction of a copy of the Quran comes just days after another burning incident in Sweden on Saturday, which ignited condemnation and protests around the Muslim world.
The anti-Muslim leader Rasmus Paludan had burned the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm after receiving permission from the Swedish government.
In response, Ankara cancelled Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson’s upcoming visit to Türkiye.