A Norwegian anti-Islam group staged a protest on Saturday, culminating in an activist tearing pages from a Koran. The event was wrapped up after a scuffle with counter-protesters, who managed to bypass the police perimeter.
The rally outside the parliament building in Oslo was organized by a group called Stop Islamisation of Norway, or SIAN. Some of their past rallies have ended with clashes between group members and their political opponents. The police had a heavy presence at the scene in advance of Saturday’s event.
The protest escalated into violence when a female activist held up a copy of the Koran and tore pages from the Islamic holy book. Angry counter-protesters then launched an attack, and the police rushed to intervene. One person was reportedly injured, and several others were arrested.
She is now ripping pages from the Quran pic.twitter.com/iV9cLz7XmR
Before the scuffle, the rally had been mostly peaceful for around two hours, with demonstrators chanting, singing, and listening to SIAN leader Lars Thorsen as he delivered a speech in which he denounced Islam’s Prophet Mohammed as a “false prophet”.
Mens mange av motdemonstrantene har med seg gjenstander og instrumenter som bråker, for å overdøve SIAN, har andre valgt en mer musikalsk tilnærminng: pic.twitter.com/zU9s7UmjWF
A security barrier had been erected beforehand to separate the rival sides and keep order. As the situation became more tense and volatile, law enforcement agents used pepper spray on several occasions and pushed back counter-protesters who tried to cross the line.
Fortsatt ampert på Eidsvolds plass, der SIAN-leder Lars Thorsen nettopp har avsluttet sin tale om Muhammed som «falsk profet». pic.twitter.com/NhqoOnzm5y
Shortly after the Koran-tearing incident, the protest ended. SIAN activists were escorted away by the police, while the counter-protesters were allowed to remain at the scene.
Another video from the counter-protests, police are using pepper spray. (@FilterNyheter) pic.twitter.com/nvSEoDMGyP
Flere vandaliserer nå politibiler, mens andre motdemonstranter forsøker å stoppe dem. pic.twitter.com/KyNpLfmKWY
Earlier this week, a Koran-burning stunt by members of a local anti-Islam group triggered outrage among the Muslim community in Malmo, escalating into fully fledged rioting.
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