The Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission vehemently condemns the act of burning the Qur’an near Turkey’s embassy in Stockholm. This tragic incident was perpetuated by a far-right politician and Anti-Islam provocateur, Rasmus Paludan, a dual Danish-Swedish national, with a notorious reputation tendency in executing acts of such gravity.

As the independent human rights institution of the Bangsamoro, we consider this matter an upfront disrespect to the whole Islamic population in every region of the world. Islamophobia has no place in this century let alone making its existence known. This is a blatant move of denigrating Islam as a peaceful and progressive religion.

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.

This evident insolence showed by this Anti-Islam protest wages war against the beliefs, foundations, and teachings of Islam. This seemingly twisted propaganda wants to degrade the very core of Islam that sustains the faith of its followers. In like manner, these people want to embarrass Muslims for what they greatly believe in and of Islam.

Various Islamic countries primarily in the region of the Middle East have expressed their disdain and disgust at what just transpired in front of the Denmark Mosque in Stockholm. In this respect, we reiterate the statement of Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson that freedom of expression is a fundamental part of democracy. But what is legal is not necessarily appropriate. Burning books that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act.

Now more than ever, we need to safeguard the religious instruments that are embedded in the system of our religion. No one, not even Muslims, deserves this kind of humiliation and disrespect executed on a global scale.

This is not the time to remain silent and ignorant of the discrimination and hate crimes committed against anyone. The Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission stands against discrimination, racism, and hate crimes of any kind committed by reason of one’s religion.

May the perpetrator be guided.