The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday condemned the burning of a copy of the Muslim holy book Quran in the southern Sweden city of Malmo.

In a statement, the Jeddah-based bloc described the burning as an “act of incitement and provocation” and “contradicts with global efforts to combat extremism and incitement to hatred based on religion and faith”.

A copy of the Quran was burned by supporters of racist Danish leader Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the anti-Islamic group Tight Direction (Stram Kurs), in Malmo on Friday.

The rally was marred by violence, which left several police officers injured. At least 10 people were arrested. Police also banned Paludan from entering Sweden for two years.

Meanwhile, the OIC Islamophobia Observatory, a body that monitors Islamophobic incidents across the world, welcomed the measures taken by the Swedish authorities against those who burned the Muslim holy book.

In a statement, the Observatory called on the Muslim community in Sweden “to exercise restraint and avoid violence”.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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