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Sweden Quran burner says he is leaving for Norway – World News




An Iraqi refugee in Sweden who stoked international outrage by repeatedly desecrating the Quranlast year has said he was leaving the country for neighboring Norway after Sweden revoked his residency permit.

Salwan Momika, a Christian Iraqi who burned Quran at a slew of protests in Sweden over the summer, told AFP that he had left Sweden and arrived in Norway, where he planned to seek asylum.

“I left Sweden because of the persecution I was subjected to by government institutions,” Momika said in a text message.

Momika’s Quran burnings sparked widespread outrage and condemnation in Muslim countries.

Iraqi protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad twice in last July, starting fires within the compound on the second occasion.

The Swedish government condemned the desecrations of the Quranbut stressed the country’s laws regarding freedom of speech and assembly.

Sweden’s intelligence agency heightened its terror alert level in mid-August to four on a scale of five after the angry reactions made the country a “prioritized target.”

The Swedish Migration Agency revoked Momika’s residency permit in October, 2023, citing false information in his original application, but he was granted a temporary one as it said there were was an “impediment to enforcement” of a deportation to Iraq.

The month before, Iraq had requested his extradition over one of the Quran burnings.

“Sweden has become a threat to me after the decision to expel me and the threat to extradite me to Iraq,” Momika said.

Momika called Sweden’s freedom of expression and protection of human rights “a big lie.”

Meanwhile, with safety risks, the Swedish city of Malmo is preparing to host the Eurovision Song Contest in early May under high security, amid protests over Israel’s participation during its ongoing war with Hamas.

The war in Ukraine, and a heightened threat level in Sweden since August after a spate of Quran burnings angered the Muslim world, mean organizers already had their work cut out to ensure that the world’s biggest live music event, which runs from May 5 to 11, goes off without a hitch.

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