A former Swedish premier said Wednesday that those who burn the Quran are "useful idiots" for those who desire to divide Sweden and harm ties with the country and the Islamic world. Magdalena Andersson, former prime minister and head of opposition Social Democrats, told Swedish broadcaster, SVT, that encouraging the burning of the Quran is "distorted thought."
"You always have the right to express yourself, but you have a responsibility to think through the consequences, that it could be hurtful to others," Andersson said in response to a statement by the Sweden Democrats' that they "can burn 100 copies of Quran as part of the freedom of expression."
Jimmie Akesson, head of the far-right wing of the Sweden Democrats, told SVT that he does not advocate Quran burning but "he has the right to burn the Quran, just like the Bible, as part of freedom of expression."
Last week, Danish-Swedish extremist Rasmus Paludan and Edwin Wagensveld, a far-right Dutch politician and leader of the Islamophobic group Pegida, separately burned Islam's holy book in Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark.