Press Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson
of the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
On far-right plans to burn the Quran in Sweden
New York – 20 April 2022
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos expresses his unequivocal condemnation of plans to burn the holy Quran declared by the leader of the far-right extremist group Straus Kurs. The announcement by the Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan provoked riots and violent clashes in the past few days in several Swedish cities including Norrkoping, Orebro and Malmo.
The High Representative notes that such vile acts perpetrated by hate-mongers including by far-right extremists and other radical groups that aim at offending Muslims or adherents to any other faith contradicts the United Nations General Assembly resolution on “Combatting intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence against persons based on religion or belief” and are an affront to the commitment made by all States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction based on religion or belief,
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 Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites developed 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.