Sweden Faces Backlash Over Rogue Politician

Sweden Faces Backlash Over Rogue Politician

Sweden, exercising a so-called freedom of expression clause, has allowed the burning of the Muslim Holy book, the Quran but now it is facing mounting backlash from several quarters.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Turkey will not allow Sweden to join NATO as long as the country allows protests that desecrate the Quran.

The Turkish government has been angry with a series of demonstrations in Stockholm that include the burning of the Quran by an anti-Islam activist and the hanging of an effigy of Erdogan.

Turkey had already been delaying approval of the membership of Sweden and Finland in the Western military alliance.

The Turkish government has been pressuring Sweden and Finland to crack down on exiled members of Kurdish and other groups that it considers terrorists and to allow arms sales to Turkey.

The postponing of a key meeting in Brussels that would have discussed the NATO entry of the two Nordic countries has been indefinitely postponed.

Backlash from Hungary

Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto has criticized Sweden’s government for allowing the recent burning of the Quran in a protest outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

Szijjarto, who is a Catholic, said the act was unacceptable and called Sweden’s Prime Minister’s statement that the Quran burning was protected by freedom of speech as “stupidity”.

Szijjarto advised Sweden to act differently if it wants to secure Turkey’s approval to join NATO, as both Turkey and Hungary are the only two NATO members who haven’t approved the bids by Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance.

The meeting between Szijjarto and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu was held in Budapest to address the increasing tensions between Turkey and Sweden.