On January 21, 2023, Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish politician and leader of the Danish Stram Kurs party, burned a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. In a separate incident a week later, on January 27, 2023, Paludan again burned a copy of the Quran near a mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Paludan's controversial demonstrations – which also seemingly inspired at least one other such demonstration in the Netherlands – drew condemnation from a multitude of governments and international bodies, as well as from Salafi-jihadis and the Iran-backed militias.
MEMRI JTTM has released several reports compiling reactions by Salafi-jihadis and the Iran-backed militias to Paludan burning the Quran. These reactions include publication of media materials threatening violent reprisals in the West. In particular, the Islamic State (ISIS) and its supporters have disseminated scores of violent posters, primarily via the encrypted messaging app Telegram. However, as MEMRI JTTM documents below, some of these ISIS media materials have also been disseminated on mainstream social media platforms, such as Instagram, where they remain accessible to a wider audience as of this reporting.
Instagram User Posts Pro-ISIS Video Inciting Attacks Against Westerners Who Burn The Quran
On January 31, 2023, an Instagram user with over 200 followers uploaded a two-minute video that was released by a pro-ISIS media outlet on the same day. The video features violent footage taken during the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack and excerpts from a 2008 speech delivered by Osama bin Laden, in which he threatens the European Union for publishing cartoons that were perceived as insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Instagram User Shares Violent Pro-ISIS Posters Inciting Attacks In West
On January 24, 2023, an Instagram user shared a poster which depicts an ISIS operative shooting Rasmus Paludan.
On January 23, 2023, the user also shared a poster released by a pro-ISIS outlet on the same day, which depicts an ISIS lone-wolf operative carrying an explosives-laden backpack in a European metro station.
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