Breaking: Boycott Sweden, Big demand of MENA Muslims!
Following calls from Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa to boycott Swedish goods, the diplomatic fallout over the burning of the Quran outside a mosque in Sweden now poses a threat of escalating into a trade war.
A 37-year-old Iraqi refugee set fire to pages of the Quran outside Stockholm’s main mosque last month because he wants the book to be outlawed. The fact that a Swedish court approved the protest is a major point of contention.
A number of Islamic governments have voiced their disapproval of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for deciding to permit anti-Islam protests to take place.
Saudi Arabia noted that the incident occurred around the time of the Hajj pilgrimage’s conclusion and the religious holiday of Eid al-Adha: The Saudi Foreign Ministry stated that there is no justification for these hateful and frequent acts.
Who is promoting a trade war in the name of burning the Quran in Sweden?
The oldest Sunni institution in the Muslim world, the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, urged Muslims to boycott Swedish goods earlier this week in response to the recent Quran burning.
In response to two incidents of Quran burning this week in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, it suggested a similar boycott of Danish goods. The mosque denounced the actions of the governments that permitted the burning of the Quran.
Muhammad Sharif al-Mutahar, the minister of industry and trade for Yemen, declared earlier this month that Swedish goods would be boycotted. A similar boycott request was made on July 23 by Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Economic Coordination.
Currently, Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa-MENA are urging people to boycott Swedish goods on social media by using the hashtags “punish the Swedish government” and “boycott Swedish products.”
The World Bank estimates that Sweden has one of Europe’s largest economies, with a GDP of $585.94 billion. Major multinational corporations like Ikea, which manufactures and sells furniture and housewares, H&M, Electrolux, and Ericsson, a provider of mobile technology, are also headquartered there.
According to data the Swedish Chamber of Commerce provided to DW, 2.6% of Swedish exports ($4.88 billion, or 51.4 billion Swedish krona) went to the Middle East and North Africa in 2022.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are the two Muslim nations that import Swedish goods at the highest rates, followed by Egypt, UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Qatar, Algeria, and Pakistan.
Concerns from business organizations Business Sweden, a business development organization jointly owned by the Swedish government and the Swedish business sector with offices in nations like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, stated that Swedish businesses generally have a good reputation and are considered model employers with a strong understanding and connection to local communities. The group continued by saying that it was closely watching the “unfortunate” circumstance.
In a statement, it emphasized the significance of keeping in mind the strong presence of Swedish businesses in numerous Muslim nations. We want to make it clear that the Quran’s burning in Sweden does not reflect our values in any way, and we, like the Swedish government, condemn it and distance ourselves from it.
The Middle East and North Africa are rapidly urbanizing, making the area a desirable export market with rising demand for technological innovation, particularly in the fields of information technology and communications, transportation, health, and energy.
There Could be More Protests by Muslim Leaders to Boycott Sweden
After repealing its blasphemy laws in the 1970s, Sweden now has some of the world’s strictest legal restrictions on the right to freedom of expression. However, there is no law in the nation that forbids the burning or desecration of religious texts, including the Quran.
Boyfield claimed that Swedish business leaders expressed their extreme concern about the authorities’ perceived failure to bring charges against Quran-burning protestors at a conference earlier this year. He added that it was crucial to stress that Gulf states have little influence over the Nordic nation because Sweden imports the majority of its oil and natural gas from Norway and other nations outside the Middle East.
The tourism industry will be one of the main areas where the Gulf will suffer if there is a trade dispute, he added, noting that Gulf states have been making significant investments in sports like golf as well as trying to attract Scandinavian tourists.
Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, has stated that he is “extremely worried” about the repercussions of continuing to hold demonstrations during which the Quran is vandalized. He told the news agency that if they are approved, there will be days when a serious event is clearly possible. I am very concerned about the consequences.
According to Sweden‘s security service SAPO, a country that is seeking to join NATO, the perception of Sweden has changed from one of tolerance to one of hostility towards Islam and Muslims, where attacks against Muslims are encouraged by the government and where Muslim children may be kidnapped by social services, as a result of an online disinformation campaign by Russian-backed actors. On a scale of 1 to 5, SAPO has maintained a threat level of 3 to indicate an “elevated threat.”