Rasmus Paludan, the Danish-Swedish politician who recently burned a copy of the Koran outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, continues his activism. On Friday, he burned more copies of the Muslim holy book in the Danish capital. From Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio, DR:
Paludan has just burned a copy of the koran in front of the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen. Paludan announced yesterday that he would burn the koran at three different addresses in Copenhagen on Friday. Earlier today he burned one copy in front of a mosque in northwest Copenhagen.
In response, the Turkish government called in the Danish ambassador to Ankara for a conversation about Mr. Paludan’s actions. The DR quotes the Danish foreign minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who explains:
Denmark has good relations with Turkey, and this incident will not change that. Our job now is to explain to Turkey what the rules are here in Denmark, with our open democracy, and that there is a difference between Denmark as a country—and us as a people—and individuals, who harbor very different views.
According to Swedish news site Samnytt, Mr. Paludan also burned a copy of the Koran outside the Russian embassy in Copenhagen. This was allegedly in defiance of statements from Chechen UFC fighter Khamzat Chimaev, who expressed resentment over Paludan’s koran burning in Stockholm.
In response to Paludan’s actions outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey will no longer support the Swedish application for NATO membership. In a statement to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Paludan responded with a promise to burn a copy of the Muslim holy book outside the Turkish embassy every Friday until Ankara approves NATO accession for Sweden.
Sweden filed its NATO application last year jointly with Finland. With the problems associated with the Swedish application, the Finnish government is floating the idea of moving ahead with its application independently of Sweden.