People are silhouetted against the flames near police vehicles after a large number of cars were set on fire on Ramels vag in Rosengard, in Malmo, Sweden, 04 September 2023. EPA-EFE/JOHAN NILSSON SWEDEN OUT


Riots erupt in Sweden’s third-largest city after another Quran burning


Rioting has erupted in the Swedish city of Malmö after Iraqi migrant Salwan Momika once again publicly torched a copy of the Quran.

The widespread unrest at Rosengård in Malmö broke out on September 3 and continued into the next day with angry protesters pelting the police with missiles and and setting cars alight.

“Some onlookers have shown upset feelings after the organiser burned writings,” police said in a statement. “The mood was at times heated,” the force said, adding that a “violent riot” broke out at 1:45pm.

The disorder prompted law enforcement officers and the other emergency services to take to the streets in large numbers.

Around 10 people were detained for disturbing public order and another two were arrested on suspicion of violent rioting.

“This is downright completely unacceptable. We will work hard to prosecute these people,” said Malmö police representative Nils Norling.

The latest instance of Quran burning by Momika, a disgruntled 37-year-old Iraqi refugee resident in Sweden, once again enraged Muslim protestors.

Momika, who counts himself as among his home country’s Christian minority, has carried out several burnings in the past few months. He is allowed to do so based on Swedish freedom-of-speech laws.

Local media reports that Momika was hit by the rocks thrown by protesters and a police officer was also injured.

Sweden has seen a number of Quran burnings this summer, sparking outrage across the Islamic community in Sweden and abroad.

Such actions have caused a series of problems for the Scandinavian country. Its embassy in Iraq has been stormed twice, while Turkey blocked Sweden’s ascension into NATO. Swedish police were also forced to raise the nation’s terror alert level.

Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, has a large immigrant population. In 2019, approximately 55.5 per cent of the population of the coastal city’s municipality (190,849 residents) had at least one parent born abroad. There are people from  186 nationalities living in the city. The largest group comes from Iraq, followed by Syria.