In an interview with the United Arab Emirate’s daily ‘Al-Ittihad,’ Pope Francis laments the burning of the Quran, Islam’s holiest book, in Sweden, while urging individuals take to heart the values promoted in the Document on Human Fraternity.
Pope Francis said the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, has made him angry and disgusted and that he condemned and rejected permitting the act as a form of freedom of speech.
“Any book considered holy should be respected to respect those who believe in it,” the pope said in an interview in the UAE newspaper Al Ittihad, published on Monday. “I feel angry and disgusted at these actions.”
“Freedom of speech should never be used as a means to despise others and allowing that is rejected and condemned,” Free Malaysia Today quoted him as saying.
A man tore up and burned a Quran in Sweden’s capital Stockholm last week, resulting in strong condemnation from several states.
While Swedish police have rejected several recent applications for anti-Quran demonstrations, courts have over-ruled those decisions, saying they infringed on freedom of speech.
On Sunday, an Islamic grouping of 57 states said collective measures are needed to prevent acts of desecration of the Quran and international law should be used to stop religious hatred.