In the wake of growing tussle between Sweden and Turkey, as the latter has been blocking Sweden’s bid to join NATO, a copy of the Quran was burnt on January 21, 2023 near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. In this background, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Swedish consulate in Istanbul and burnt Swedish flag on January 21, 2023. Earlier on January 20, 2023, Turkey had summoned Sweden’s ambassador over an upcoming event wherein the protestors had planned to burn Quran. Many Islamic countries have shown their protest after this incident.
Notably, Turkey is said to be an obstacle to Sweden and Finland’s historic application for NATO membership after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as both countries have gained the approval of 28 NATO members so far, except Hungary and Turkey. The reason being given that Turkey is demanding the extradition of people in Sweden, which it claims to have links to the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), who are fighting against Turkey for an independent Kurdish state.
Notably, there is already growing anger against Muslim migrants in Sweden in the backdrop of many communal incidents and same incident was also reported last year.
Recently, in the wake of FIFA World Cup 2020, many European countries recently witnessed riots like situation from France, Belgium to UK. Many migrants from the Muslim countries, especially from the West Asia to Africa who were supporting Morocco team, were involved into the violence and instigation.
Situation in Sweden is just similar to Belgium, Gothenburg, in western Sweden is one of the European cities from which most people joined Islamic extremist groups, according to ‘The Local’. According to the BBC report, Sweden became an exporter of jihad, from where more than 300 people went Syria and Iraq to fight Islamic Jihad. As a result of this, as per Pew Research Center, 57 per cent people in the country view Muslim immigrants as increasing the risk of domestic terrorism.
In Belgium Groups like Sharia4Belgium, Resto du Tawheed, and the Zerkani network are deeply involved in jihadi radicalisation. According to the official number, by mid-2016, about 450 Belgian individuals travelled to Syria and many of them joined terrorist Organisation Islamic State.