On Sunday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that Malaysia would immediately distribute one million copies of the Quran around the world. This comes as a response to the burning of the holy book by the far-right activist Rasmus Paludan in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, on January 21.
This happens only a few days after Rasmus Paludan, who holds both Danish and Swedish citizenship, chose to burn another copy of the Quran outside a mosque and the Turkish embassy in the Danish capital Copenhagen to further enrage Muslims worldwide. A protest the extremist has declared to continue every Friday until Sweden is admitted into NATO.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar condemned the actions of the Danish-Swedish politician, as well as showed his support to Turkish President Erdogan for his aggressive remarks about the burning. He has later added, that he considers the move to distribute copies of the Quran globally to be the most beneficial way to respond to the careless and brazen act against the holy book.
Scandinavian NATO membership in jeopardy
Sweden and Finland have abandoned their long-standing policies of nonmilitary-alignment and applied for NATO membership after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine back in February last year.
Paludan’s actions have caused fury in Muslim countries around the world including Turkey, which has criticized the Swedish authorities for allowing the demonstration in Stockholm to take place outside their embassy. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has accused Sweden of being complicit in a hate and racist crime. He has later confirmed, that the meeting to discuss the Scandinavian countries NATO membership has been postponed indefinitely.
Causing outrage across countries
Turkey is not the only Muslim country to react to the latest episodes involving the destruction of the Quran.
Last week, the Vice President of Indonesia Ma’ruf Amin emphasized his concerns while stating, that the government has taken action to minimize potential problems that might arise in Indonesia due to the incidences. This is caused by the fact, that the country has the largest Muslim population in the world.