China's statement comes amid its ongoing repression of Uyghurs in the western part of the country, where Beijing has been accused of committing genocide against the Muslim minority.
The New Arab Staff
April 21, 2022
China's foreign ministry has urged Sweden to respect Muslim beliefs despite its record of committing horrific abuses against its Uyghur Muslim minority [Getty]
The Chinese foreign ministry's comments came in response to Danish-Swedish far-right leader Rasmus Paludan's plans to organise several Quran-burning rallies in Sweden during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The US, France, and other countries recognise China's repression - which includes mass detention, forced abortions, and torture - as a genocide of Uyghurs.
"Freedom of speech cannot be a reason to incite racial or cultural discrimination and tear society apart," said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry as reported by Beijing-linked Global Times.
“We hope Sweden can earnestly respect the religious beliefs of minority groups including Muslims," he added.
The Quran is Islam’s sacred text and is believed by Muslims to be the literal transcription of the word of God.
China’s statement comes despite its ongoing repression of Uyghur Muslims in the western part of the country, where it is accused of incarcerating over a million Uyghurs in what has been called an attempt to wipe out their religion and culture.
China claims the prisoners are being provided with education, however rights groups have accused the government of committing horrific abuses against the detainees, including torture, rape, and forced sterilisation.
Several leading human rights groups have also formally accused Beijing of committing genocide against the Uyghurs.
Paludan's actions sparked violent protests in Sweden and have been condemned by governments and rights groups around the world.