About 1,000 protesters were dispersed by security forces early Saturday, in reaction to reports that a far-right group had burned the Koran the day before outside the Iraqi embassy in Denmark.
The protesters chanted in support of the influential Iraqi Shiite religious and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr, carrying images of the leader and flags associated with his movement, along with the Iraqi flag.
“Yes, yes to the Qur’an!” shouted the protesters, many of them young.
Security forces blocked the Jumhuriya bridge leading to the Green Zone, preventing protesters from reaching the Danish embassy.
Another protest is planned for later in the day.
According to Danish media reports, the far-right ultranationalist group Danske Patrioter burned a copy of the Koran and an Iraqi flag in front of the Iraqi embassy in Copenhagen and broadcast the event live on Facebook.
In response to the incident in Copenhagen, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry condemned “in strong and repeated terms, the incident of abuse against the Holy Quran and the flag of the Republic of Iraq in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Denmark,” in a statement on Saturday.
The government urged the international community to “urgently and responsibly stand before these atrocities that violate social peace and coexistence throughout the world.”
A separate statement said: “We cannot allow it to happen again” which occurred at the Swedish embassy, the AFP news agency reported.
The Iraqi government affirmed its “full commitment” to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, saying it guarantees “the protection and security provided to diplomatic teams.”
In a separate incident, protesters torched the headquarters of the humanitarian organization Danish Refugee Council in Iraq’s Basra Governorate, according to local media and Sky News reports.
The incidents came two days after Iraqis stormed and burned down the Swedish embassy in Baghdad after a second event to desecrate the Quran was held in Sweden. The embassy was forced to temporarily relocate to Stockholm following the violence.
Iraq’s prime minister cut diplomatic relations with Sweden in protest of the desecration, which also prompted action and condemnation from Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East.
The Swedish incident was carried out by Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Christian Iraqi refugee in Sweden, who also burned pages of a Koran on June 28. The earlier incident also sparked mass protests in Iraq and condemnation from Muslim-majority countries.