UN rights council to discuss Koran burning

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News Desk

The UN Human Rights Council will hold an urgent session to address the burning of the Koran following an incident in Stockholm that sparked global outrage, a spokesman said Tuesday.

A Koran was burnt outside the Swedish capital’s main mosque on Wednesday, triggering a diplomatic backlash across the Muslim world.

Salwan Momika, 37, who fled from Iraq to Sweden several years ago, stomped on the Muslim holy book and set several pages alight as Muslims around the world began marking the Eid al-Adha holiday and as the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia was drawing to a close.
The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, which is meeting in session until July 14, will change its agenda to stage an urgent debate, following a request from Pakistan.

“The UN Human Rights Council will hold an urgent debate to ‘discuss the alarming rise in premeditated and public acts of religious hatred, as manifested by the current desecration of the holy Koran in some European and other countries’,” council spokesman Pascal Sim told reporters, citing the wording of the request.

“This urgent debate will be convened following a request of Pakistan, sent on behalf of several members of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, including those that are members of the Human Rights Council.

“The urgent debate will most likely be convened this week at a date and time to be determined by the bureau of the Human Rights Council that is meeting today.”

There are 47 members of the Human Rights Council. The UN’s top rights body is currently in the second of its three regular sessions per year.

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