The far-right Islamophobic organization Stop the Islamization of Norway (SIAN) planned to burn a Koran outside the Turkish embassy on Friday.
On Thursday, the Norwegian ambassador in Ankara was summoned to the carpet by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the conversation is said to be about an announced demonstration planned for Friday in Oslo.
The demonstration in question was probably the declaration of an end to the Islamization of Norway (Sian) when a Koran was burned in front of Turkey’s embassy on Friday. Sian was previously known for organizing celebrations involving the burning of Korans, Islam’s holy book. This led to occasional violent protests.
A protest planned for Friday at the Turkish Embassy will now come to naught. In a press release Thursday afternoon, police wrote that the event could not be held for security reasons.
Scion president Lars Thorsen doesn’t think so. He did not rule out that the organization would hold an unannounced demonstration elsewhere.
“Security cannot be guaranteed”
On Monday, the Oslo Police District was informed that Xian planned to hold a demonstration at the Turkish Embassy this Friday. Sian confirmed that they had planned to burn a Koran.
At 3.30pm on Thursday, the police announced that they were calling off the demonstration:
– Based on the information we have, the police have assessed whether they can ensure security around the tagging area. After an overall assessment, we have come to the conclusion that security cannot be satisfactorily ensured in this event, Martin Strand, police inspector at the Oslo Police District, said in a press release.
This assessment by the police is based on intelligence information.
– Police insists Koran burning remains legal political expression in Norway But Police Inspector Strand says the event cannot be held for security reasons.
Police have yet to give details about why they are stopping this particular demonstration or whether concrete threats have been made against Xi’an’s leader.
The Koran does not reject burning
– What the police are doing is banning me from legitimate political activities so they can keep quiet at work. The Constitution and the Human Rights Convention give me permission to implement this, says Sion President Lars Thorsen to Aftonbosten.
– How would you react to the decision of the police?
– What we normally do is bring something else and not tell the police about it. But then we are more exposed to violent opponents. It is not uncommon for us to express it. I think it is wrong that we are forced to operate without police protection, says Thorson.
– Are you still planning a demonstration and burning the Koran on Friday?
– It is utopian to think that we will come to the Turkish Embassy on Friday. That doesn’t mean I’m ruling out that we come up with something else. We haven’t had time to plan yet. But something will happen, but it is not good to say where and when, he says.
“Clearly within the bounds of freedom of expression.”
Recently, far-right Danish politician Rasmus Palud burned a Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, with the approval of Swedish authorities. This has caused strong opposition from the Turkish side. Other Muslim countries have also reacted to this.
Baludan has promised to burn a Koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Denmark every Friday until Sweden’s NATO application is approved.
Reuters has learned from a source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry that the ministry has demanded that Norway stop the demonstration.
Columnist and member of the Freedom of Expression Commission Anki Gerhardsen describes the Norwegian police’s decision on the Sion demonstration as follows:
– I thought there might be a real and good reason why the police are doing this now. At the same time, I think we are in a bad place if we fail to protect freedom of expression, he tells Optenposten.
She insists that she is in no way endorsing Sian and their message:
– I think both Baludan and Xian are acting obnoxiously. But the burning of political, ideological and religious icons and books is clearly within the bounds of freedom of expression, Herhardson says.
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