By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-The desecration of the Quran, the holy book of those of the Islamic faith has drawn condemnation from Malaysians, with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) being the loudest over the provocative action in Sweden.

The UMNO president urged the Swedish government to act against those responsible for their disrespectful actions for abusing the right to freedom of expression and causing hatred against the faith and its followers.

“UMNO condemns in the strongest possible terms the act of burning the Holy Quran by an extremist Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm,” he said in a statement.

“Irrespective of his true intention, the vile act by Paludan is a clear provocation and highly disrespectful towards the Muslim Community around the globe,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Southeast Asian country's deputy prime minister, said the act undermines the spirit of peaceful coexistence in a multi-religious world.

Paludan, a Swedish-Danish politician from the far-right party Stram Kurs, burned the holy book at a demonstration held in front of the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital on Sunday.

Following the incident, the Turkish government summoned the Swedish ambassador to express its disappointment. The action also drew the condemnation of various Muslim-majority countries.

Malaysian politicians from both sides of the divide spoke out against the act including Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who said the act constituted a grave provocation, especially if allowed to go unpunished.

Anwar also called upon the international community to reject race or religious baiting under the guise of freedom of expression and to remain united against all forms of incitement to hate and violence.