The Strategist

Reuters: Protesters seize and set on fire Swedish embassy in Baghdad

07/20/2023 - 11:03

Hundreds of demonstrators surrounded the Swedish embassy in Baghdad. According to Reuters, who cited an eyewitness and a source familiar with the incident, they set fire to the embassy. No members of the diplomatic mission's staff were hurt, the newspaper added.

Reuters reports that Muqtada al-Sadr, the head of the Iraqi Shiite group Mahdi Army, was responsible for organizing the protests in Baghdad. The protests were caused by the planned Quran burning ceremony that will take place in Sweden.

Rasmus Paludan, a far-right politician of Swedish and Danish descent, burned a copy of the Quran in January to protest Sweden's intentions to join NATO. During the Eid al-Adha holiday on June 28, an Iraqi refugee in Sweden set fire to several pages of the book in front of Stockholm's largest mosque.

This and other similar actions this year have slowed Sweden's application for NATO membership and were denounced in the Muslim world.