As deeply offensive

Oh get a grip.

Turkey has condemned the burning of a copy of the Quran during a protest in Sweden, describing it as a “vile act”.

Nonsense. It’s just a book. It’s just one copy of a book that’s available in many editions. There must be literally billions of copies of it. Burning one is a gesture; Turkey doesn’t like the gesture; Turkey should get a life.

It said the Swedish government’s decision to allow the protest to go ahead was “completely unacceptable”.

Nonsense. Governments aren’t there to enforce theocratic etiquette toward holy books.

Turkey, which had appealed to Sweden to stop the protest, earlier called off a visit by Sweden’s Defence Minister, Pal Jonson, saying the trip had “lost its significance and meaning”.

It was hoped the trip could dispel Ankara’s objections to the Scandinavian country joining the Nato military alliance. Turkey has so far held up both Sweden and Finland’s Nato applications.

Turkey wants political concessions, including the deportation of critics of its President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Kurds that it claims are terrorists.

Turkey is already a Nato member, which means it can block another country from joining. Sweden and Finland both applied to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Great. So a nasty theocratic dictatorship gets to veto two liberal secular countries that want to join Nato. Is there some mechanism by which we can veto Erdogan?

Muslims consider the Quran the sacred word of God and view any intentional damage or show of disrespect towards it as deeply offensive.

That’s their problem. It’s perfectly possible to think of the contents of the Quran as “the sacred word of God” while still understanding that one of billions of copies is just one of billions of copies. It’s even possible to see the burning of a copy as rude or even oppressive without losing your shit over it.

Turkey is a majority Muslim country. Its Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement denouncing the act, which it said happened despite “repeated warnings”.

“Permitting this anti-Islam act, which targets Muslims and insults our sacred values, under the guise of ‘freedom of expression’ is completely unacceptable,” it said.

No it isn’t. Genocide is unacceptable, torture is unacceptable, war crimes are unacceptable. Burning one copy of a widely published religious book is not. Focus on the real. Even believers can do that if they try.

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