The official website of the Office of the supreme religious authority; Sayed Ali al-Sistani, published the letter of the secretary-general of the United Nations to His Eminence in response to the letter he received from His Eminence's office regarding the attack on a copy of the Holy Quran in Sweden.
July 21, 2023
His Eminence Sayed Ali al-Sistani
I would like to thank your eminence for your letter dated June 29, 2023 regarding the acts of burning the Quran.
I was deeply disturbed by the recent Quran burning incident in Stockholm, Sweden, which led to protests in the Republic of Iraq during the Eid al-Adha holiday, allow me to express my solidarity with the Muslim community, condemn acts of intolerance, violence and Islamophobia that exacerbate tensions and contribute to discrimination and extremism.
I expressed this position in my telephone conversation with His Excellency Mr. Fuad Mohammed Hussein, deputy prime minister and Minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Iraq, on June 30, 2023, and this was also reflected in the press statements issued by the Office of the high representative of the United Nations alliance of civilizations on June 29, 2023 condemning the burning of the Quran in Sweden, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on July 11, 2023 at the opening of the urgent debate of the human rights council on "the alarming rise in deliberate and public acts of religious hatred as manifested through repeated desecration the Holy Quran in some European countries and others".
The United Nations system is determined to fully implement the human rights council resolution on "combating religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence", and the United Nations, through its relevant bodies, will continue to urge member states to study their national policies and frameworks to identify gaps that may hinder the prevention and prosecution of acts and advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that may constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence."
In this context, political and religious leaders play a particularly important role in resolutely raising their voice against manifestations of religious hatred and making it clear that peaceful dialogue is the best way to promote mutual understanding and respect, including respect for diversity, which are essential building blocks for building a cohesive and resilient society.
I fully support your call for the promotion of peaceful coexistence and the consolidation of the values of compassion, and I would like to express my genuine respect and deep admiration for your wisdom, your moderate approach and your constant appeal for mutual respect and unity.
I welcome further communication and continuous interaction with your eminence on these important issues of mutual interest.
Please, Your Excellency, accept with all due respect.