The riots in Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city and one of the country’s most ethnically diverse communities, erupted after a Quran-burning staged by members of the anti-Islamic Danish Hard Line party in what was claimed to be a gesture of solidarity with the “brotherly” Swedish people.
During the violent riots in Malmö that broke out on Friday, slogans against Jews were shouted by the crowd. Now the police will investigate the incident that may be classified as “incitement against ethnic groups”, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported.
Following the riots, clips were posted on social media with protesters clenching their fists and shouting “Jews, remember Khaybar, Mohammed’s army returns.” According to the Central Jewish Council, Khaybar was a place where Jews were murdered by Prophet Mohammad, a central figure in Islam, and his followers in 628, and the slogans are interpreted as “a call for the murder and purge of Jews”.
According to journalist Luai Ahmed, who translated the chants from Arabic, the crowd also chanted “Mohammed’s sword returns”.
“Sweden has never been safer. Islam is a religion of peace, etc”, he noted, deriding the common political tropes and media cliches.
Victor Borslöv-Reichmann, previously an active member of the Moderate Party and the Jewish Youth League, related the incident on Facebook as follows.
Okay, let’s recap: It starts with Danish right-wing extremists burning a Quran in central Malmö. After this, 300 people start a violent riot in Rosengård, where they attack the police. During the riots, the angry mob chants Islamist slogans and hateful expressions about Jews. ‘Jews remember Khaybar, Mohammad’s army returns’. And this in the city that wants to set up a Holocaust museum.
Before you, Malmö’s politicians, try to collect goodwill points for the investment in dead Jews, perhaps you should ensure that your living Jews can continue in safety and security, free from hatred and threats?” he said, calling the development “frightening”.
During the weekend, the riots continued in Ronneby, Blekinge County, where four policemen and a passer-by were injured.
The riots in Malmö and Ronneby were triggered by Danes from the anti-immigration Hard Line party, who burned one copy of the Quran and played football with another one. This in turn, was an escalation from a previous dispute as its leader Rasmus Paludan, who has made a reputation for himself with controversial behaviour such as Quran-burning, which he celebrates as free speech, was arrested and expelled from Sweden for two years, ostensibly to prevent “lawbreaking”. Paludan’s ethno-nationalist Hard Line party seeks a ban on Islam and and end to non-Western immigration, and nearly cracked the parliamentary threshold in the 2019 election.
Meanwhile in Sweden
HUGE riots are taking place in #Malmö, #Sweden after the Danish group “Stram kurs” burned the Quran pic.twitter.com/GbKWoIUYVK
— London & UK Crime (@CrimeLdn) August 28, 2020
Paludan initially intended to burn the Quran himself, invited by Swedish artist Dan Park, who is no stranger to controversy either and has been jailed and fined for his artwork, which he himself sees as critical social commentary. The torching was intended to take place in Rosengård, one of Malmö’s burgeoning ethnic enclaves, where the majority of the population are immigrants and their descendants.
Malmö is Sweden’s third-largest city and is also often hailed as the county’s “most diverse”. The Quran-burning was condemned in advance by Swedish politicians from the ruling bloc and the opposition alike as “hateful” and having no place in their country.