Kuwait to print 100,000 Qurans in Swedish and distribute them to schools and libraries across Sweden amid Quran-burning row

FILE - A supporter of the religious group Jamaat-e-Islami holds a copy of Islam's holy book during a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, July 3, 2023, against the desecration of the Quran that took place in Sweden. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

The Kuwaiti government has announced plans to print 100,000 Qurans in Swedish to distribute them across the Scandinavian country in response to multiple recent burnings of the Islamic holy book at protests permitted by the Swedish authorities.

As reported by the Kuwait News Agency Kuna on Tuesday, the Kuwait Council of Ministers has been ordered to undertake the assignment at the request of Prime Minister Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in a bid to “affirm the tolerance of the Islamic religion” and “spread Islamic principles and values” across Sweden.

The oil-rich Arab emirate considered the response necessary after Swedish authorities granted a protest permit to an Iraqi-born refugee who proceeded to burn the Muslim holy book outside a mosque in Stockholm to mark the first day of Eid al-Adha, the largest of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam.

The move sparked a diplomatic fallout among the Islamic world, leading several Arab nations including Kuwait, Morocco, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Iran to either recall their ambassadors or refuse to send new diplomats to Sweden.

“The State of Kuwait reminds the international community and all countries concerned of their responsibility for acting against hate and religious extremism, and stopping the hostile acts that target a Muslim’s sanctity,” Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement at the time.

Since the immediate fallout, tensions have remained high, and several countries have gone further in their response by boycotting Swedish goods.

Kuwait has now followed the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Taliban in Afghanistan, in banning Swedish imports into the respective countries, according to Swedish broadcaster SVT.

Kuwait’s parliament also announced earlier this week its intention to stop exports to countries that “violate the principles of Islam,” with the exception, it would seem, of 100,000 Qurans transcribed into Swedish.

It is understood the Qurans will be distributed to mosques, libraries, schools and other institutions across the country, using a translation by Knut Bernstrom, a late Swedish diplomat who converted to Islam in 1986 and took the name Mohammed.

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