Sweden’s Migration Court of Appeal has approved the deportation of Salwan Momika, an Iraqi immigrant who gained notoriety for organizing Quran-burning protests in Sweden during 2023. The ruling, reported by Swedish Radio Ekot, signifies the court’s rejection of Momika’s appeal and affirmation of the Swedish Migration Agency’s determination to expel him from the country.
The court cited Momika’s provision of false information during his residence permit application process as grounds for its decision to uphold the deportation order. Momika, aged 37, gained international attention in June 2023 when he publicly tore and burned pages of the Holy Quran outside Stockholm’s central mosque, an act sanctioned by Swedish authorities following a judicial decision.
This provocative act sparked widespread outrage across the Arab and Islamic regions, prompting diplomatic tensions between Sweden and Iraq. In response to Momika’s actions, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani took swift measures, recalling the Iraqi charge d’affaires in Stockholm and expelling the Swedish ambassador to Iraq.
Furthermore, in an effort to hold Momika accountable for his actions, Iraq urged the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to apprehend him in Sweden and facilitate his extradition to Baghdad. The incident underscores the broader implications of individuals’ actions on international relations and highlights the sensitive nature of religious provocations in multicultural societies like Sweden.
As the deportation of Salwan Momika proceeds, it marks a significant chapter in the ongoing dialogue surrounding freedom of expression, religious tolerance, and diplomatic relations between nations. The decision serves as a reminder of the responsibilities individuals bear when exercising their rights in a diverse and interconnected world.