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Putin's rabbi condemns burning of Koran; 'we stand in full solidarity with the Muslim community'

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July 6, 2023

On June 28, in the center of Stockholm on Medborjarplatsen Square, an action was held with the burning of the Koran, which took place with the permission of the Swedish police. Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old immigrant from Iraq, tore out pages from the Koran and set it on fire. On this day, Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Adha, one of the main religious holidays in Islam. On July 1, the European Union declared that the burning of the Koran or any other holy book  is offensive, disrespectful and a clear provocation.

In this regard, on behalf of the Jewish community of Russia, Chief Rabbi Berl Lazar expressed his indignation at the burning of sacred Islamic books not only in Sweden, but also expressed his extreme condemnation of such actions in other countries of the world.

Every cultured person understands that freedom is not permissiveness: no one has the right to offend other people. We stand in full solidarity with the Muslim community, whose religious sensibilities have been severely offended. We are confident that only the united actions of all believers are capable of putting up a real barrier to the actions of marginal extremists today , says Berl Lazar. 

The leader of the Jewish community in Russia stressed that the decision of the courts, refusing to consider such actions a criminal offense, should be considered erroneous. In addition, Berl Lazar turned to the historical experience of the past and recalled what such actions can lead to: “History teaches us that those who start burning books that do not suit them for one reason or another, start burning innocent people in ovens. the crematoria of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Dachau. Of particular indignation is the fact that radicals burn books that believers consider holy: this is not just a crime against this or that community of believers, but an attack on the very foundations of the One God.”