A man looks at burning cars after protests broke out at Rosengard in Malmo, Sweden, early Monday, April 17, 2022 Image Credit: AP

As the crisis rages in Ukraine, threatening to turn into a wider global conflict, the last thing the world needs is another conflict, such as the ones brewing in Sweden and occupied Jerusalem.

Dozens have been injured in three-day clashes in Sweden, including 17 police officers, following the burning of copies of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, by a convicted racist activist, who leads an anti-immigration group, called Stram Kurs, or Hard Line.

There have been warnings of the consequences well before the fanatic Rasmus Paludan burned copies of a holy book sacred to more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.

The Quran is not just any book. It is the word of God and symbol of the religion and source of pride for Muslims. Swedish authorities knew that. It happened few years ago. But they chose to ignore the warnings claiming ‘freedom of speech’ was paramount! Nonsense.

That is not free speech. It is a terrorist act, meant to intimidate the Muslim community of Sweden into submission to the rules of another community, those who Paludan claims to represent.

Sweden and almost all European countries have banned all Russian media broadcasts in their territories, shut Russian access to YouTube and other social media platforms immediately after the start of the Ukraine war. Where was that sacred principle of free speech then?

As we have said here before, such values seems to be applied by the West selectively.

The world needs peace. Not conflict, hate or racism. The timing of the racist group’s action is dubious too. So is the timing of the containing provocation of Israel’s forces in Islam’s third holiest mosque, Al Aqsa.

As Muslims mark Ramadan, a month where they feel closer to their creator, Israel for the last 10 days has been attacking the Palestinians who pray in the mosque. Nearly 200 Palestinians have been injured so far.

The Israeli proactive exercise of power in the occupied city threatens to ignite another war. The UAE, as well as most other Arab states, have called for calm and protection of the worshippers. Israel should stop any action that violate the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque. The statement said this is a time to advance the peace process and end all illegal Israeli practices.

Indeed, it is time to end all wars. It is time to protect the rights of minorities in Sweden and the rest of Europe. And it is a time to refrain from any action that threaten to unleash another bloody conflict in the Middle East. The question, nevertheless, is why couldn’t the world react to these provocative acts in the same manner that it did against the Russian offensive in Ukraine.