Press Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson of
the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
On the desecration of the Quran in Malmo, Sweden
29 August 2020
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos expresses his unequivocal condemnation of the burning of the Quran by far-right extremists in the city of Malmo, Sweden. The incident on Friday which triggered riots in Malmo was termed by the High Representative as despicable and totally unacceptable nor justifiable.
Mr. Moratinos notes that such deplorable acts perpetrated by hate-mongers including by far-right extremists and other radical groups incite violence and tear apart the fabric of our communities. These acts are an affront to the objectives and values embraced by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations which works on the promotion of mutual respect and understanding and strengthening intercultural and interreligious dialogue.
The High Representative reiterates that the desecration of sacred books and places of worship as well as religious symbols should be vehemently repudiated by all faith actors. He calls on religious leaders across the faith spectrum to renew their denunciation of all forms of violence based on religion or belief.
In this context, the High-Representative recalls the United Nations General Assembly resolution 73/164 on combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence against persons based on religion or belief and the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites led by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, which provides an overarching framework and a set of recommendations including strengthening religious pluralism and promoting mutual respect and human dignity.