Press Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson of the High Representative
for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)
On the Desecration of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden and the Violence in Iraq
New York, 20 July 2023
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos recalls his statement on 15 July, 2023, in which he reiterated that the desecration of sacred religious books is not freedom of expression but rather an expression of contempt and religious hatred.
The High Representative condemns the recurrent desecration the holy Qur’an, including today’s incident in Stockholm, Sweden.
The High Representative also condemns the acts of violence and the storming of the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad today. He reiterates that the desecration of sacred religious books and religious sites is a disrespectful and provocative act. Such acts often lead to agitation and incitement to violence. At the same time, he stresses that violence is never an appropriate response to provocation, adding that the freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right.
In this context, the High Representative recalls the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites led by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) which advocates promoting religious pluralism, mutual respect and human dignity.