The government is abandoning the SIAN organization’s burning of the Koran, writes Secretary of State Jens Frølich Holte (H) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a post in VG.
– Although a statement is legal and within the scope of freedom of expression, the Norwegian authorities may not necessarily stand behind it, Holte writes in the post.
On Saturday, November 16, representatives from SIAN (Stop Islamization of Norway) set fire to a copy of the Koran during a demonstration in Kristiansand.
The action has led to reactions both in Norway and elsewhere. Among other things, protesters in Pakistan set fire to the Norwegian flag against the burning of the Koran.
The government is refraining from igniting the Qur’an, just as it reserves the right to waive any other legal statements they disagree with, Holte writes.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes that without freedom of expression, it is not possible to practice their faith or religion freely, and that the two are therefore interconnected.
“No social challenge gets better by the fact that we stop discussing with each other and rather go on provoking and inciting each other,” he writes.
He also writes that Norway’s ambassador to Pakistan has conveyed to the Pakistani authorities that freedom of expression is a fundamental principle in Norway, and that the authorities are distancing themselves from the action.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today