"In many European countries, anti-Semitism is regarded as a crime but Islamophobia comes under 'freedom of speech.' This is a double standard ... change is a must," Abdul-Wakhed Niyazov, the head of EMF said while addressing a press conference in Istanbul on Wednesday.
“Some elements in Europe intend to create a second battlefield in the continent,” he added.
"European Muslims are voicing their presence and their role in Europe is growing. These provocations are trying to diminish their role in Europe," Niyazov told reporters.
Arguing that the European system is behind such incidents but not the people who undertake them, Niyazov held the Swedish, Danish and Dutch governments responsible for the demonstrations.
"We are against the burning of any religious book. I cannot imagine a Muslim conducting such an act. We, as Muslims, are always going to be against such acts of desecration," he emphasized.
For the past three weeks, the Muslim world has been outraged at the desecration of its holy book in western Europe, with Turkey calling Paludan an "Islam-hating charlatan" and strongly condemned the permission and protection given by authorities for the provocative act which it said, "clearly constitutes a hate crime."
After torching a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm on Jan. 21, with both police protection and permission from the Swedish authorities, Swedish-Danish extremist Rasmus Paludan repeated his provocation a week later in front of a mosque in Denmark.
He announced he would burn a copy of the holy book every Friday until Sweden is included in the NATO alliance. Sweden’s bid for NATO membership is facing a dead end as ties strain over Stockholm’s failure to curb anti-Turkey propaganda by far-right politicians and supporters of terrorist organizations like the PKK and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Not two days following Paludan, another far-right radical Edwin Wagensveld, the leader of the Islamophobic group Pegida, tore out and burned pages of the Quran in the Dutch capital.
Source: Daily Sabah