Sweden plans border controls as Quran burning increases

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson says measure is expected to be approved by his govt on Thursday.

STOCKHOLM: Sweden plans to step up border controls and identity checks at crossing points as its security situation deteriorates during a Quran burning crisis that has shaken both Sweden and neighboring Denmark in recent weeks.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said the measure is expected to be approved by his government on Thursday.

It is meant to prevent “people with very weak connections to Sweden” to come to the country “to commit crimes or to act in conflict with Swedish security interests,” he said at a news conference in Stockholm on Tuesday. 

A recent string of public Quran desecrations in Sweden and Denmark conducted by a handful of anti-Islam activists have sparked angry demonstrations in Muslim countries. Among other incidents, protesters attacked the Swedish Embassy in Iraq and set it on fire in July.

Last week, Sweden’s domestic security service warned that the security situation has worsened after the recent Quran burnings in the country and protests in the Muslim world, both of which negatively impacted the Nordic nation’s image.

“I think it’s a serious situation where national Swedish interests are being threatened,” Kristersson said, adding that he remains in close contact with Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen on the matter “to stand up for the values of Denmark and Sweden.”

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