Salwan Momika: Quran-Burning Anti-Islam Activist Found Dead in Norway

Farrukh Saif

April 2, 2024

Salwan Momika: Norway

Salwan Momika, the Iraqi refugee known for his public Quran-burning protests in Sweden, has reportedly been found dead in Norway. Momika, a former member of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, had recently relocated from Sweden to Norway after facing deportation from the Scandinavian country.

Controversial Quran Burnings in Sweden:

Momika, who was born into a Christian family in northern Iraq but now identifies as an atheist, gained notoriety in Sweden for arranging demonstrations where he publicly burned the Quran under police protection. These acts angered millions of Muslims in Sweden and worldwide, leading to massive death threats and attacks towards him.  The Swedish government condemned Momika’s Quran desecrations but upheld the country’s laws regarding freedom of speech and assembly, allowing his actions to continue. This led to tensions between Sweden and Muslim-majority countries, with Iraqi protesters even storming the Swedish embassy in Baghdad in protest. 

Momika’s actions also led to legal troubles. In 2022, he was convicted of making unlawful threats after threatening a man he shared accommodation with and was sentenced to probation and community service.  In 2023, the Swedish Migration Agency decided to expel Momika from the country due to the Quran burnings. However, the deportation was temporarily postponed due to security concerns about his safety in Iraq.  In 2024, Momika’s residence permit was revoked, and an order of deportation was issued, but it was placed on hold as the authorities determined he risked being subjected to torture and inhumane treatment if he returned to Iraq. 

Death in Norway:

Amid the legal battles, Monika had expressed fears for his life if he returned to Iraq and had applied for asylum in Norway. Reportedly, on 2nd April 2024, he was found dead in Norway. The circumstances surrounding his death are still under investigation.  Salwan Momika’s controversial actions and eventual death highlight the complex issues surrounding freedom of speech, religious sensitivities, and the challenges faced by anyone who criticized Islam.

Unfortunately, the trend of violence and death threats against those who criticize Islam or its prophet, Muhammad, is not limited to Islamic countries anymore. There are numerous cases where individuals have been publicly lynched or killed by mobs for perceived insults to the religion in Islamic countries, and now, it is started in Western nations as well.

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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