Swedish Court: Police Went Too Far When They Prevented a Koran-Burning

Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the party Stram Kurs (Hard Line) in Denmark and Sweden, has become notorious in the past year for organizing Koran-burnings in various locations in Sweden. During Easter weekend last year, angry Muslims staged violent demonstrations to protest Mr. Paludan’s actions, attacking police, burning vehicles, and engaging in other traditional forms of cultural expression in a number of Swedish cities.

In order to forestall more violence, police later denied Mr. Paludan a permit for a Koran-burning in Norrköping. Now a court has ruled that the police exceeded their authority when they interfered with his freedom of speech.

Many thanks to Gary Fouse for translating this article from Samhällsnytt:

Paludan had the right to burn Koran — Court overturns police decision

Last year police unilaterally decided to refuse a demonstration permit to the free speech fighter and Islam critic Rasmus Paludan in Norrköping. The decision was made on the assumption that disturbances would likely occur on the part of Muslims, since Paludan intended to burn a copy of the Koran. The appeals court has now ruled that police who denied permission erred.

During 2022, the Danish-Swedish opinion maker Rasmus Paludan burned Korans in a series of demonstrations. The thinking was to test Muslim respect for Western democratic freedom of expression and whether Muslims could handle the provocations. The results were striking — a wave of brutal immigrant violence that subjected police, among others, to extreme strain at its worst and left in its wake ongoing legal proceedings.

Therefore, police were not especially enthusiastic about granting Paludan permission to hold new demonstrations. In an attempt to stop Paludan, they therefore chose to deny him a demonstration permit in Norrköping with reference to the Public Order Law. The argument was that since disturbances were likely, the police could preventively deny the demonstration permit.

Now, however, the police have been reprimanded by the appeals court that tried the case and concluded that the interpretation of the order law was faulty.

“The majority does not all find that the provisions of the Public Order Law give police the possibility to cancel public gatherings as a result of disturbances that have occurred or feared. Instead, it is the provisions on breaking up gatherings that can become relevant.”

The appeals court’s opinion is that the Public Order Law cannot be used for preventive purposes. On the contrary, it can only be used to break up a demonstration already in the making and for which police consider that there is reason to shut it down. Therefore, the appeals court choose to overturn the police decision after the fact.

For previous posts about Rasmus Paludan and the burning of Korans, see the Rasmus Paludan Archives.

4 thoughts on “Swedish Court: Police Went Too Far When They Prevented a Koran-Burning

  1. Kill two birds with one stone, very good. This also means good-bye NATO by that tool which is the alpha goat of Asia Minor. Say the Swedes can be efficient, when they want to.

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