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Iraqi Quran-Burning Protester Faces Residence Permit Withdrawal in Sweden

Sweden has reportedly withdrawn the residence permit of an Iraqi man, Salwan Momika, who staged a series of public Quran desecrations this year. However, his deportation has been put on hold due to concerns about his safety if returned to Iraq.

Sweden’s Migration Agency made this decision after discovering that Salwan Momika had provided false information in his asylum application. An order of deportation was issued but has been temporarily halted for security reasons, according to an official from the Migration Agency.

The agency spokesman, Jesper Tengroth, explained, “The decision was made yesterday and means that this person’s status and residence permit will be revoked, and he will be deported.”

Salwan Momika had been granted a residence permit in Sweden in 2021. His public actions, which included Quran desecrations, led to significant controversy and anger among Muslims, both in Sweden and abroad. While Swedish authorities initially allowed his demonstrations, citing freedom of speech, his actions raised concerns among government and security officials about potential repercussions from Islamic extremists. Swedish police also filed preliminary hate speech charges against him.

Tengroth noted, “This person risks being subjected to torture and inhuman treatment if he returns to his home country. We have therefore decided that there is an obstacle to enforcing the deportation.”

Momika has maintained that he exercised his right to criticize Islam under the banner of freedom of speech and stated that he did not intend to jeopardize Sweden’s security. He intends to appeal the decision to revoke his residence permit.

“They want me to leave the country,” he said. “They told me to find a country that can receive me; otherwise, it’s Iraq.”

Momika denied providing false information in his asylum application but did not disclose specific details about the allegedly false information.

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