Dozens of Rioters Arrested Amid Planned Quran-Burning Rallies in Sweden

    Image copyright: EPA [via BBC News]

    The Facts

    • Swedish police have arrested dozens of people amid weekend riots in the cities of Norrköping and Linköping. The riots were against planned Quran-burning rallies by a far-right group.

    • The riots erupted after leader of the Danish Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, Rasmus Paludan, live-streamed the burning of a Quran on Thu. and Fri.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Paludan's actions are a deliberate abuse of the Holy Quran and a clear attempt to antagonize Muslims all over the world. His attack will have serious repercussions on the relations between Sweden and Muslims. There needs to be concerted efforts to spread tolerance, coexistence, and prevent the abuse of all religions.

    Narrative B

    Regardless of whether society agrees with Paludan's message, Sweden is a democratic country and the police must ensure that people can use their constitutional right to demonstrate freedom of expression. Violence, as shown by these riots, is never the answer and should never be tolerated.

    Right narrative

    Sweden's police numbers are not keeping up with growing problems in society. The riots were not conducted by ordinary counter-protesters, but by criminals. The weekend saw serious crimes committed and a disproportionate focus on violence against police officers, which suggests that Paludan was not the intended target of the protests.

    Political split



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