Sweden Police on Saturday said several of their officers were injured in violence that began after a crowd of 300 people gathered to demonstrate against anti-Islam activities, according to Reuters.
Protestors pelted stones at the police and rescue service personnel and burned tyres on the streets, the police said, adding the violence that started on Friday afternoon escalated through the evening and subsided on Saturday morning. At least 10 people were arrested in connection with the violence but later released.
“Those who act like this have nothing to do with Islam,” Samir Muric, an imam, said on Facebook.
The demonstration was connected to an event on Friday where supporters of a Danish anti-Muslim politician burned a Quran, AFP reported.
On Friday, Rasmus Paludan, who heads a far-right Danish anti-immigration party Hard Line, was scheduled to speak at the Quran-burning event in Malmo. However, the police announced that he was banned from entering Sweden for two years. He was later arrested near Malmo.
“We suspect that he was going to break the law in Sweden,” said Calle Persson, spokesperson for the police in Malmo. “There was also a risk that his behaviour... would pose a threat to society.”
Paludan’s supporters, however, went ahead with the event and burned the holy book, the police said. Six people were arrested for inciting racial hatred. The incident, which took place near a predominantly migrant neighbourhood, was recorded and posted online, AP reported. About 40% of Malmo’s population have foreign roots.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations denounced the incident, calling the burning of the holy book of Islam as “despicable and totally unacceptable”. The body’s chief, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, asked all religious leaders to condemn all violence based on religious belief, spokesperson Nihal Saad said.
Meanwhile, another group in Norway held an anti-Muslim demonstration on Saturday where a woman tore pages from the Quran and spat on it.