In The Hague, a torn Koran during far-right demonstrations
International

In The Hague, a torn Koran during far-right demonstrations

A copy of the Koran was trampled and torn on Friday, August 18, in The Hague (Netherlands), during a demonstration in front of the Turkish embassy, ​​at the initiative of Edwin Wagensveld, head of the Dutch branch of the far-right Pegida movement. Dozens of counter-protesters reacted on the spot, which brought in the police to avoid any confrontation. Dutch authorities have previously condemned Wagensveld’s actions, but said they had no legal means to ban him, reports AFP.

Accompanied by two people, Edwin Wagensveld led the rally, wearing a T-shirt that read “Islam is no better than Nazism.” As reported by AFP, the police blocked access to the street leading to the Turkish embassy for about fifty counter-protesters, who fell on the other side of the canal next to the diplomatic mission.

As quoted by Dutch news agency ANP, Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz called Wagensveld’s gesture “rather primitive and pathetic.” “That is allowed here, you have that freedom,” she added, warning of a possible attack in retaliation, as “a threat that must be taken into account.”

When Wagensveld tore the pages of the Koran, some of the counter-protesters threw stones in his direction. Leaving Wagensveld, the counter-demonstrators shouted “Allah akbar” and tried to catch up with him, before being stopped by about twenty police officers armed with batons and shields, adds AFP.

“The Hague City Council is responsible for a respectful and inclusive city and distances itself from behavior that does not contribute to this,” said The Hague Mayor Jan van Zanen in a statement sent to the agency.

Last July, two men burned a copy of the Koran in front of the parliament in Stockholm (Sweden). Similar actions were held this year in Denmark.

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