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Activist seeks to burn Torah outside Israeli embassy in Sweden

It follows the burning of a Koran outside the main mosque in Stockholm that sparked a backlash across the Islamic world.

A bar mitzvah boy reads his Torah portion at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo by Peter van der Sluijs via Wikimedia Commons.
A bar mitzvah boy reads his Torah portion at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo by Peter van der Sluijs via Wikimedia Commons.

Swedish police have received a request to burn a Torah book in front of the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, officials said Wednesday.

The request follows the burning of a Koran outside the main mosque in the city that sparked a backlash across the Islamic world.

The police force confirmed to Sweden’s national public broadcaster that it had received an application from a man in his 30s to burn Jewish and Christian holy books outside the embassy on July 15 as “a symbolic gathering for the sake of freedom of speech.”

Another request, one to burn a Koran “as soon as possible” in Stockholm, was submitted by a woman in her 50s. Two previous petitions to set the Muslim holy book afire were approved by the police, triggering international condemnation.

The latest applications are under review.

 “I am shocked and horrified by the prospect of the burning of more books in Sweden, be it the Koran, the Torah or any other holy book,” Israel’s Ambassador to Sweden Ziv Nevo Kulman tweeted. “This is clearly an act of hatred that must be stopped.”

Aron Verstandig, chairman of the Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, told JNS: “We think that the burning of all religious books is a disgrace and completely inappropriate.”

He noted that although these were isolated events, the burning of the Koran—first in front of the Turkish embassy and then outside the central city mosque—has already hurt Sweden in the international arena.

The Jewish community leaders previously condemned both Koran burnings.

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