Officials claimed burnings pose a threat to Sweden's security. A previous one worsened the conflict with Turkey over Swedish bid to join NATO.
According to Säpo (Security Service prevents and detects offences against national security, fights terrorism), Quran burnings “could lead to an increased threat of attacks on Sweden”.
For the police “those acts have increased, and may increase in the future, the threat of attacks against Sweden and Swedish interests, both on the ground and in a Swedish context”.
The ban says nothing about other holy books such as the Bible.
Last January, during a protest in front of Turkish embassy in Stockholm, far-right and anti-Islam politician, Rasmus Paludan, gave an hour-long speech against Islam and immigration before setting fire to a copy of the Quran.
That sparked criticism across the Islamic world and worsened the conflict with Turkey over Sweden’s bid to join NATO
“Those who allow such blasphemy in front of our embassy can no longer expect our support for their NATO membership”, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in response to the book burning.
Since then, the police have denied permission for two demonstrations that were to end with the burning of the Quran.
The first one would have been outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm to protest against Turkey's refusal to permit Sweden's entrance to NATO, while in the other one man wanted to burn the Quran outside the Iraqi embassy.
Many have criticised the ban and both refusals have been appealed.
Legal experts believe that the court will overturn the ban on Quran burning. “If a demonstration is to be denied on the grounds stated by the police, the law must be changed”, said Henrik Wenander, professor of public law and Lund University in Swedish newspaper SVT Nyheter.
Police spokesperson Ola Österling told SVT Nyheter that they welcome the appeals, because they “want to make sure that our argument is legally sound”.
“We are aware that it is a restriction on freedom of expression, and in order to be able to make decisions about restrictions on freedom of expression, which is a constitutionally protected right, it is necessary that it is specified in law”.