Quran burning ‘populist’ act of Islamophobia: Tunisian professor

Abu Yaareb Al-Marzouki says Türkiye plays key role in relationship between East and West
Adel Al Thabiti – January 25, 2023

TUNIS, Tunisia (Anadolu) –  A Tunisian professor believes that the burning of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in Sweden reflects the Western fear of the Islamic religion.

On Saturday, a Swedish-Danish right-wing extremist burned a copy of the Quran in a police-approved protest in the capital Stockholm.

And on Sunday, Edwin Wagensveld, a far-right Dutch politician, and leader of the Islamophobic group Pegida, tore out pages from the Quran in The Hague, the administrative capital of the Netherlands. Wagensveld’s video on Twitter showed that he burned the torn-out pages of the holy book in a pan.

“There is fear in the West of the authority of Islam and the tendency of the Western elite to embrace it,” Abu Yaareb Al-Marzouki told Anadolu.

“The burning of the Quran is proof that Islam has become influential in the West. Westerners are afraid of the inclination of the Western elite towards it,” Al-Marzouki said.

“This is a populist position and does not reflect the positions of great scholars and thinkers,” he added.

The Tunisian professor pointed out that reactions to these provocations “should be wise and should not be violent.”

Al-Marzouki noted that the desecration of the Quran was a sign of “backwardness.”

“Muslims believe in the unity of religion in the hereafter, but in this world, the Islamic state is required to protect all religions,” he added.

Türkiye’s role

The burning of Islam’s holy book has triggered a storm of condemnations from across the Islamic world, including Türkiye.

In response to Sweden’s permission for the incident, Ankara canceled Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson’s upcoming visit to Türkiye.

Al-Marzouki praised Türkiye’s balanced positions between East and West.

“Türkiye is an important country for the West because of its good relations with many parties, even the conflicting ones. It enjoys good relations with the US and even better ties with Russia,” he said. “Both Russia and the US cannot do without Türkiye.”

The professor continued, “This is an opportunity for Türkiye to strengthen its role in the relationship with the East and the West.”

Al-Marzouki said the only country that “wants to dispense with Türkiye is France, which no longer has weight in the world.”

“If Germany were to choose between France and Türkiye, it would choose Türkiye,” he added.

Born in 1947 in the city of Menzel Bourguiba in northern Tunisia, Al-Marzouki holds a Ph.D. from Sorbonne University in Greek, German and Islamic philosophy.

He has authored several books and was elected a member of Tunisia’s interim parliament following the 2011 uprising that ousted long-serving President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

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