Indonesia summons Swedish ambassador after Quran burning at Stockholm demonstration

Protests in Yemen following the burning of a copy of the Koran in Sweden – Hani Al-Ansi/dpa

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Tuesday it had summoned the Swedish ambassador to Jakarta, Marina Berg, in protest against the burning of the Koran during a demonstration last weekend in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm.

According to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Teuku Faizasyah, there is still no time for the meeting, although the Indonesian authorities are trying to arrange it «as soon as possible», according to the newspaper ‘Republika’.

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry itself had launched a publication on its official channel of the social network Twitter in which it condemned in the strongest terms the burning of the holy book of Islam during a demonstration in Stockholm.

«Freedom of expression must be exercised responsibly,» said the Indonesian diplomatic portfolio, which acknowledged that the hateful gesture seen in the streets of the Swedish capital was an attack on religious sentiments.

The tense situation may escalate to such an extent that the Indonesian House of Representatives Commission has reported that it is trying to raise the issue at bilateral or multilateral level, reports Antara news agency.

According to legislator Dave Akbarshah Fikarno – one of the main promoters of this maneuver – the Swedish authorities should not hide behind the author’s freedom of expression to play down the issue.

Last Saturday, a Danish right-wing extremist – leader of an Islamophobic and anti-migration group – burned a copy of the Koran during a protest in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm.

In recent weeks there have been demonstrations in Stockholm in support of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, and against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself – a dummy with his effigy has even been hung upside down.

Ankara has denounced all these demonstrations and, after the burning of a copy of the Koran, the negotiations for Turkey’s approval of Sweden’s accession to the Atlantic Alliance have been suspended «indefinitely».