Quran burner Salwan Momika reported to have been found dead

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Several anti-Quran actions were led by Salwan Momika, a refugee from Iraq who claimed he wanted to protest against the whole institution of Islam and ban its holy book.

Quran-burner Salwan Momika reported to have been found dead
Iraqi man Salwan Momika

Stockholm: An Iraqi man who carried out several Quran burnings in Sweden was reportedly found dead in Norway. Salwan Momika, 37, had staged several burnings and desecrations of the sacred book of Islam in Sweden over the past few years. Last, week Momika told a newspaper that he had been seeking asylum in neighbouring Norway. 

“The lifeless body of Iraqi refugee and Islamic critic Salwan Sabah Matti Momika has been found in Norway. Momika was known for organizing demonstrations in Sweden where he publicly burned the Koran several times,” Radio Genoa posted on X. 

Contradictory reports

However, later the same platform claimed that those who announced his death have now deleted the post. “Those who announced Momika’s death with over 1 million impressions deleted the tweet. We are waiting for further confirmation,” it added in a late post.

Videos of Momika’s provocative Quran burnings got worldwide publicity and raised anger and criticism in several Muslim nations, leading to riots and unrest in many places. He was currently being investigated by Swedish authorities for incitement against ethnic groups in Sweden. 

According to Expressen, Momika is one of the reasons why Sweden’s NATO membership, which was finalized earlier this month, got delayed by months. Among other countries, his actions got wide publicity in NATO member Turkey, which vetoed Stockholm’s bid to join the military alliance for a lengthy period.

Sweden’s migration authorities revoked Momika’s residence permit in October, saying he had provided incorrect information on his application and he would be deported to Iraq. But his deportation had been on hold for security reasons because according to Momika, his life could be in danger if he were returned to his native country. Swedish media reported that Momika was granted a residence permit in 2021. In connection with last year’s deportation decision, Momika was granted a new temporary residence permit that expires on April 16, according to Expressen.

Anti-Islam activists have burned several copies of the Koran in Sweden and Denmark, two of the most liberal countries in the world that allow trenchant criticism of religion in the name of free speech. But many Muslims view desecrating the Koran, which they see as the literal word of God, as a grave offence.