Fallout of Qur’an burning in Sweden shows why there can be no tolerance for intolerance

Special Fallout of Qur’an burning in Sweden shows why there can be no tolerance for intolerance
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Swedish police officers belatedly intervene after a group of Islamophobes burn a copy of the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book, outside the central mosque in Stockholm on June 28, 2023. (TT News Agency/Caisa Rasmussen/via REUTERS)
Special Fallout of Qur’an burning in Sweden shows why there can be no tolerance for intolerance
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Smoke billows as supporters of Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest near the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on June 30, 2023, against a man who tore up and burned a copy of the Qur'an outside a mosque in the Swedish capital Stockholm. (REUTERS/Saba Kareem)
Special Fallout of Qur’an burning in Sweden shows why there can be no tolerance for intolerance
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Iranians burn a Swedish flag during a demonstration on June 30, 2023, in front of the Swedish Embassy in Tehran to protest the burning of a Qur'an in Sweden. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Updated 02 July 2023
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Fallout of Qur’an burning in Sweden shows why there can be no tolerance for intolerance

Fallout of Qur’an burning in Sweden shows why there can be no tolerance for intolerance
  • Swedish authorities face condemnation for allowing desecration of holy book of Islam by Iraqi immigrant in Stockholm
  • Incident raises questions about limits of free speech and the unequal treatment of different texts, religious or secular

JEDDAH: Sweden, a nation known for its progressive values and commitment to human rights, finds itself at the center of a fierce diplomatic storm over the burning of a copy of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, by a member of a far-right Swedish party.

This burning, which Swedish authorities permitted to take place on June 28 in Stockholm, has sparked anger and outrage among Muslims across the world.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a 57-member group of nations, said it would hold an “emergency meeting” to discuss the situation, with talks expected to take place on Sunday.

According to a spokesman, the executive committee of the OIC will meet in the Saudi city of Jeddah to “discuss the measures to be taken against this heinous act and adopt a collective position on the necessary course of action.”

The incident occurred outside the Stockholm central mosque during Eid Al-Adha, a major Islamic holiday and the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia.




Salwan Momika, who fled from Iraq to Sweden several years ago, protests outside a mosque in Stockholm on June 28, 2023, during the Eid al-Adha holiday. He later tore up and burned a copy of the Muslim holy book. (Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP)

The act was carried out by Salwan Momika, a 37-year-old Iraqi immigrant living in Sweden, who claimed to be expressing his opinion about the Holy Qur’an.

The police in Stockholm had granted a permit for the protest after a Swedish court ruled that banning it would impinge on the right to freedom of speech and that the force did not have sufficient evidence to ban such protests.

In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen on Thursday, Momika denied his actions constituted a “hate crime” or “agitation toward any group.” He also said he intends to burn another copy of the holy book within 10 days of his first protest.

According to a statement on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, “The Swedish government strongly rejects the Islamophobic act committed by individuals in Sweden. This act in no way reflects the opinions of the Swedish Government.”




Swedish police allowed Salwan Momika, an Iraqi residing in Sweden, to tear up and burn a copy of the Qur'an during an unprovoked demonstration outside a mosque in Stockholm on June 28, 2023, as Muslims worldwide celebrated Eid Al-Adha. (Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP)

A statement issued by a spokesperson for the Diplomatic Service of the European Union said: “The EU joins the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its strong rejection of the burning of a Qur’an by an individual in Sweden. ... Burning the Qur’an or any other Holy Book is offensive and disrespectful and a clear act of provocation. Manifestations of racism, xenophobia and related tolerance have no place in Europe.”

Arab News contacted the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden with a set of questions but had not received a response at the time of publishing.

Responding to the Stockholm incident, several Muslim-majority countries have expressed their concerns and condemned the act as a deliberate provocation and an attack on their religion.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement strongly condemning the burning, emphasizing that such actions incite hatred, exclusion, and racism, contradicting efforts to promote tolerance, moderation, and the rejection of extremism.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strong condemnation and denunciation of the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an by an extremist at Stockholm Central Mosque in Sweden following Eid Al-Adha prayer,” the ministry said.

“These hateful and repeated acts cannot be accepted with any justification, and they clearly incite hatred, exclusion, and racism, and directly contradict international efforts seeking to spread the values of tolerance, moderation, and rejection of extremism, and undermine the necessary mutual respect for relations between peoples and states.”

FASTFACTS

140,000+ Iraqi-born immigrants form the second-largest immigrant group in Sweden.

Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan burned a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Stockholm on Jan. 21 this year.

Morocco, for its part, summoned Sweden’s ambassador to Rabat and recalled its own ambassador, while Jordan expressed displeasure to Sweden’s envoy, describing the burning as an act of hatred and racism.

The UAE also summoned Sweden’s ambassador and expressed strong displeasure over the country allowing Momika’s action. In a statement, Dr. Anwar Gargash, a diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, said: “The blatant and repeated attacks on our Islamic faith under the pretext of freedom of opinion perpetuate hatred and rivalry.”

On Thursday, a crowd of Iraqi protesters, led by the Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, broke into Sweden’s embassy in Baghdad, but vacated it after 15 minutes when security forces arrived at the scene.

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry condemned Sweden’s decision to grant an “extremist” permission to burn a copy of the Qur’an, saying such acts “inflame the feelings of Muslims around the world and represent a dangerous provocation.”

The ministry said it had summoned the Swedish ambassador to Baghdad to inform her of the country’s “strong protest” over the authorization decision.




Supporters of Shiite Muslim leader Moqtada Sadr demonstrate inside the courtyard and outside the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on June 29, 2023, to protest the burning of the Qur'an by an Iraqi living in Sweden. (Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, criticized Sweden for allowing such a protest, which may have further weakened the Nordic nation’s chances of joining NATO — a move that has long been vetoed by NATO-member Turkiye.

“We will eventually teach the arrogant Westerners that insulting Muslims is not freedom of thought,” Erdogan said in televised remarks. “We will show our reaction in the strongest possible terms, until a determined victory against terrorist organizations and Islamophobia is achieved.”

Political commentators have warned that the act of burning a copy of the Qur’an not only stokes existing tensions between Muslim and non-Muslim communities within Sweden, but also plays into the hands of extremist elements who exploit such incidents to fuel hatred and further polarize societies.

Previous incidents involving the desecration of sacred texts have also faced condemnation. In 2015, a far-right politician burned a copy of the Qur’an outside a mosque, and earlier this year, an Egyptian living in Sweden planned to burn the Torah in front of the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm to spark a debate on the Palestinian cause.

However, Muslim leaders in Sweden intervened to prevent the action, with both Muslim and Jewish clergy speaking out against the desecration of sacred texts as a form of protest.

Ulf Kristersson, Sweden’s prime minister, has said Momika’s action was “legal but not appropriate.”




Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson talks to the media at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 29, 2023. (AFP)

Salman Al-Ansari, a Saudi political researcher, told Arab News: “I have been to Sweden. It is a beautiful country with great people who value respect for others.

“However, it’s very unfortunate that some extremists exploited Sweden and its loose laws with regards to freedom of expression. The Swedish people are among the kindest I have ever encountered.

“I am absolutely certain that the Swedish people don’t agree with hate-filled speeches and actions. If burning the holy book of 1.8 billion people is not hate, then what constitutes hate speech and action?”

Highlighting concerns about a selective approach to freedom of expression, some political analysts say that the response by a Western country might have been different had the protest been against a different faith or a popular political cause.

They contend that desecration of a Jewish religious symbol, for example, would likely have invited charges of antisemitism; similarly, any protest directed against black people would certainly have fallen foul of laws banning racism.

In the last week of April, a group of self-proclaimed Satanists cheered as two leaders opened SatanCon 2023 in the US city of Boston, with a formal ceremony renouncing “symbols of oppression” by ripping up a Bible and a “Thin Blue Line” flag representing police.

Commenting on a Fox News video of the actions on Twitter, Al-Ansari made clear his views on the desecration, saying: “As a Muslim, I say these Satanist actions against Christianity and the Bible are nothing but deplorable, disgusting and full of hatred towards people of all faiths.

“How can ripping up a Bible help? Who are the behind-the-scenes enablers of this hate cult?”

 

 

The burning of a copy of the Qur’an is not only considered deeply offensive by Muslims worldwide, it also raises vital questions about the limits of free speech and the unequal treatment of different texts, religious or secular.

While freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and a cornerstone of democratic societies, many political scientists believe it should not be considered an absolute right that enables the incitement of hatred or the deliberate denigration of religious beliefs.

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Ansari said: “Sweden is dear to my heart and I am sad to see it exploited by far-right radicals and extremists. It’s time for Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and the Swedish parliament to drain the swamp of hate and extremism.

“The Swedish government should rectify this matter and draw a clear line between freedom of expression and hate actions.

“Otherwise, the Swedish government and people will be seen as hate preachers and hypocrites where they ban many slogans such as the Nazi ones and allow anti-Muslim hatred.

“That’s a clear double standard that can’t be justified in any way whatsoever. Sweden is better than that.”




Iranians demonstrate in front of the Swedish Embassy in Tehran on June 30, 2023, to protest the burning of a Qur'an by Islamophobes in the Swedish capital earlier. (AP)

Referring to Momika, Al-Ansari said: “The perpetrator of this action is reportedly an active Iraqi militia member who worked with radical and militant organizations in Iraq.

“And he kept visiting Iraq even though he claimed to be fearing for his life. If lying to the Swedish immigration is not enough to revoke his asylum status, then what is?”

Others have suggested that this week’s incident underscores the importance of encouraging interfaith dialogue, educating the public about the significance of religious texts, and bridging divides through respectful communication.

In order to achieve harmonious coexistence in multicultural societies, religious leaders believe tolerance and respect for diverse beliefs are paramount.

While freedom of speech remains crucial, they believe it must be exercised responsibly, taking into account the potential consequences and respecting the sensitivities of others.

In a recent interview with the news channel MBC, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, emphasized that a “copy of the Holy Qur’an, not the Qur’an,” had fallen into the “hands of a hateful extremist who holds a grudge and who took refuge in a constitution that allows him to express freely, “even if his expressed opinion is a grudge that will incite hatred and enmity among all.”

 

 

He added: “This is the philosophy of the constitution that protects him, and in this case, it is the Swedish constitution, which in fact, represents the will of the Swedish people in enacting this constitution.

“However, the majority of the Swedish people distinguish between the articles of the constitution and the behavior that gets protection under the article of the constitution to express those opinions, in particular those grudges and hatred that are expressed in that incident.

“In general, the (Swedish people) do not agree with these grudges and hatred. They reject them. However, they say ‘This is his right to express his opinion as long as it does not (commit) a harmful action that is tangible.’”

Al-Issa, who deems Momika’s actions a crime, added: “We have differences with the philosophy of this constitution. We explicitly denounce this heinous act. We condemn it in every possible way.”

In March 2019, Arab News took a clear stand against those who promote hate speech in the name of religion by launching a project, “Preachers of Hate,” whose theme was there can be no tolerance for intolerance.

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

“Each week, we will focus on a particular preacher, explain their beliefs, shed light on their hate-filled edicts and, most importantly, hold them accountable for their words,” Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas wrote in a column entitled “There can be no tolerance for intolerance” introducing the series.

The series profiled, contextualized and analyzed extremist preachers from all religions, backgrounds and nationalities, with a view to highlighting the impact of their words on people worldwide.

 


Myanmar authorities arrest 22 for marking Suu Kyi’s birthday: media

Myanmar authorities arrest 22 for marking Suu Kyi’s birthday: media
Updated 9 sec ago
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Myanmar authorities arrest 22 for marking Suu Kyi’s birthday: media

Myanmar authorities arrest 22 for marking Suu Kyi’s birthday: media
  • A prominent pro-junta Telegram account posted several photos claiming to show those arrested, including one showing five people with their legs placed in stocks
YANGON: Myanmar authorities arrested 22 people for marking the birthday of imprisoned democracy figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi, local media reported on Wednesday.
Police in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, arrested 22 people who had posted pictures of themselves wearing flowers in their hair — long a signature Suu Kyi look — Eleven Media reported, citing an anonymous official.
Other local media said around a dozen had been arrested in the central Myanmar city for wearing flowers or praying with them in public.
A prominent pro-junta Telegram account posted several photos claiming to show those arrested, including one showing five people with their legs placed in stocks.
Suu Kyi, who turned 79 on Wednesday, has been detained by the military since it toppled her government and seized power in 2021.
The coup and subsequent crackdown on dissent have sparked a widespread armed uprising that the military is struggling to crush.
The junta has rebuffed numerous requests by foreign leaders and diplomats to meet Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, who has reportedly suffered health problems during more than three years in detention.
Suu Kyi’s only known encounter with a foreign envoy since the coup came in July last year, when then-Thai foreign minister Don Pramudwinai said he had met her for more than an hour.
Suu Kyi is serving a 27-year sentence imposed by a junta court after a trial condemned by rights groups as a sham to shut her out of politics.
Her son said in February she was in “strong spirits” after receiving a letter from her — their first communication since she was detained in the coup.

Philippine VP Duterte exits Marcos cabinet as their alliance crumbles

Philippine VP Duterte exits Marcos cabinet as their alliance crumbles
Updated 12 min 25 sec ago
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Philippine VP Duterte exits Marcos cabinet as their alliance crumbles

Philippine VP Duterte exits Marcos cabinet as their alliance crumbles
  • President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had accepted Duterte’s resignation from the posts of education minister and vice chair of an anti-insurgency task force

MANILA: Philippine Vice President Sara Duterte resigned on Wednesday from the cabinet of President Ferdinand Marcos and another key post, in the latest sign that her alliance with Marcos Jr has crumbled.
Marcos had accepted Duterte’s resignation from the posts of education minister and vice chair of an anti-insurgency task force, Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement, adding that the vice president did not provide a reason for the move.
Duterte, who will remain vice president, said in a press conference that her “resignation is not because of weakness but because of true concern for teachers and the youth.”
In the Philippines, where the president and vice president are elected separately, without a cabinet position, the vice president’s powers are largely limited to ceremonial roles.
The Marcos and Duterte families joined forces in 2022 with Sara Duterte standing as Marcos’ vice presidential running mate, allowing him to tap the Duterte family’s huge support base and seal a comeback for the disgraced Marcos dynasty.
That alliance was always expected to collapse, but analysts were surprised by how soon the gloves came off after Marcos’ predecessor, and Sara’s father, Rodrigo Duterte, accused the president in January of using drugs.
Duterte’s son, the mayor of Davao city, also called for Marcos’ resignation at the time, and Sara did not object to the calls either. “It is the break we have all been waiting for,” Jean Encinas-Franco, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines, said of the vice president’s decision to step down from her cabinet post.
Franco said Sara Duterte, who continues to enjoy high trust ratings based on independent opinion polls, would now have more leeway to criticize Marcos’ policies.
Since coming to power in 2022, Marcos has reversed Rodrigo Duterte’s pro-China stance and pivoted back to the United States, granting Washington greater access to Philippine bases amid China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and near Taiwan.
He also brought to the fore a 2016 arbitral ruling, fortifying Manila’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, which former president Rodrigo Duterte had largely set aside.
A major blow to the Marcos-Duterte relationship came late last year when Marcos said the government was considering rejoining the International Criminal Court, nearly five years after Rodrigo had withdrawn membership over objections to a bid by the court to investigate a bloody anti-narcotics campaign under him.


Strict asylum rules and poor treatment of migrants are pushing people north to the UK

Strict asylum rules and poor treatment of migrants are pushing people north to the UK
Updated 20 min 12 sec ago
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Strict asylum rules and poor treatment of migrants are pushing people north to the UK

Strict asylum rules and poor treatment of migrants are pushing people north to the UK
  • Europe’s increasingly strict asylum rules, growing xenophobia and hostile treatment of migrants pushing them north
  • Some migrants don’t even try for new lives in the EU anymore

AMBLETEUSE, France: The rising tide crept above their waists, soaking the babies they hugged tight. Around a dozen Kurds refused to leave the cold waters of the English Channel in a futile attempt to delay the inevitable: French police had just foiled their latest attempt to reach the United Kingdom by boat.
The men, women and children were trapped again on the last frontier of their journey from Iraq and Iran. They hoped that a rubber dinghy would get them to better lives with housing, schooling and work. Now it disappeared on the horizon, only a few of its passengers aboard.
On the beach of the quiet northern French town of Ambleteuse, police pleaded for the migrants to leave the 10-degree-Celsius (50-degree-Fahrenheit) water, so cold it can kill within minutes. Do it for the children’s sake, they argued.
“The boat is go!” an increasingly irritated officer shouted in French-accented English. “It’s over! It’s over!”
The asylum-seekers finally emerged from the sea defeated, but there was no doubt that they would try to reach the UK again. They would not find the haven they needed in France, or elsewhere in the European Union.
Europe’s increasingly strict asylum rules, growing xenophobia and hostile treatment of migrants were pushing them north. While the UK government has been hostile, too, many migrants have family or friends in the UK and a perception they will have more opportunities there.
EU rules stipulate that a person must apply for asylum in the first member state they land in. This has overwhelmed countries on the edge of the 27-nation bloc such as Italy, Greece and Spain.
Some migrants don’t even try for new lives in the EU anymore. They are flying to France from as far away as Vietnam to attempt the Channel crossing after failing to get permission to enter the UK, which has stricter visa requirements.
“No happy here,” said Adam, an Iraqi father of six who was among those caught on the beach in a recent May morning. He refused to provide his last name due to his uncertain legal status in France. He had failed to find schooling and housing for his children in France and had grown frustrated with the asylum office’s lack of answers about his case. He thought things would be better in the UK, he said.
While the number of people entering the EU without permission is nowhere near as high as during a 2015-2016 refugee crisis, far-right parties across Europe, including in France, have exploited migration to the continent and made big electoral wins in the most recent European Parliamentary elections. Their rhetoric, and the treatment already faced by many people on the French coast and elsewhere in the bloc, clash with the stated principles of solidarity, openness and respect for human dignity that underpin the democratic EU, human rights advocates note.
In recent months, the normally quiet beaches around Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne-Sur-Mer have become the stage of cat-and-mouse games — even violent clashes — between police and smugglers. Police have fired tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. Smugglers have hurled stones.
While boat crossings across the Channel represent only a tiny fraction of migration to the UK, France agreed last year to hold migrants back in exchange for hundreds of millions of euros. It’s an agreement akin to deals made between the European Union and North African nations in recent years. And while many people have been stopped by police, they are not offered alternative solutions and are bound to try crossing again.
More than 12,000 people have reached England in small boats in the first five months of the year, 18 percent more than during the same period last year, according to data published by the UK’s Home Office. The Home Office said 882 people arrived in the UK in 15 boats on Tuesday, the highest daily total of the year.
The heightened border surveillance is increasing risks and ultimately leading to more deaths, closer to shore, said Salomé Bahri, a coordinator with the nongovernmental organization Utopia 56, which helps migrants stranded in France. At least 20 people have died so far this year trying to reach the UK, according to Utopia 56. That’s nearly as many as died in all of last year, according to statistics published by the International Organization of Migration.
People are rushing to avoid being caught by authorities and there are more fatalities, Bahri said. In late April, five people died, including a 7-year-old girl who was crushed inside a rubber boat after more than 110 people boarded it frantically trying to escape police.
Authorities in the north of France denied AP’s request for an interview but have previously defended the “life-saving” work of police and blamed violence on smugglers who have also attacked officers.
A spot on a flimsy rubber dinghy can cost between 1,000 to 2,000 euros (around $1,100-$2,200) making it a lucrative business for the smuggling networks led primarily by Iraqi Kurdish groups. They can earn up to $1 million a month (approximately 920,000 euros) according to a report published earlier this year by The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.
Sitting around a fire in an abandoned warehouse-turned-migrant camp in Calais, Mohammed Osman contemplated his limited options. The 25-year-old Sudanese man was studying medicine in Moscow when the civil war broke out in his home country a year ago. He suspended his dream of becoming a doctor. Forced to flee the fighting, his family could no longer afford to pay for his university fees and Osman was forced to leave Russia, where his visa only allowed him to study, not work. He crossed to Belarus and then to Poland where he says he was pushed back and beaten by Polish guards several times.
Eventually, he made it across the border and reached Germany where he tried to apply for asylum but was ordered to return to Poland, as per EU rules. All he wants now is to finish his medical studies in the UK, a country whose language he, like many other Sudanese people, already speaks. The issue, as always, is how to get there. Talks of potential deportation to Rwanda have only added more stress and frustration.
“So where is the legal way for me?” he asked. “I am a good person. I know that I can be a good doctor. … So what is the problem?”
In another makeshift camp near Dunkirk that police routinely attempt to clear, more dreams were held in suspense. Farzanee, 28, left Iran to follow her passion: becoming a professional bodybuilder. Back home she was banned from taking part in competitions and persecuted for her sport.
“I was even threatened with my family, that’s why I left my country,” she said, refusing to provide her last name out of fear for her and her loved ones’ safety.
Together with her husband, they managed to get a visa for France with a fake invitation letter. But even on EU soil they fear they could be deported back to Iran and believe only the UK to be safe. They have tried — and failed — to board boats to the UK “seven or eight times” but have vowed to keep trying until they make it.
“Us and other Iranians like me, we have one thing in common,” explained Farzanee’s husband Mohammad. “When you ask them they will tell you: ‘free life or death.’”
A few days after this interview, Mohammad and his wife Farzanee made it safely to the UK


UK migrant boat crossings hit 19-month high, adding to pressure on Sunak

UK migrant boat crossings hit 19-month high, adding to pressure on Sunak
Updated 51 min 28 sec ago
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UK migrant boat crossings hit 19-month high, adding to pressure on Sunak

UK migrant boat crossings hit 19-month high, adding to pressure on Sunak
  • Provisional data from Britain’s interior ministry showed 882 migrants arrived on Tuesday, taking the yearly total so far to above 12,300

LONDON: More than 800 asylum seekers arrived in Britain via small boats on Tuesday, the highest single-day figure since late 2022, adding to pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ahead of a July 4 national election.
Provisional data from Britain’s interior ministry showed 882 migrants arrived on Tuesday, taking the yearly total so far to above 12,300. The daily figure was last higher in November 2022, when 947 migrants arrived in a single day.
Trailing far behind the opposition Labour party in opinion polls, and with immigration a major concern for some voters, “stopping the boats” and curbing illegal migration has been one of Sunak’s flagship pledges.
The centerpiece of Sunak’s immigration policy is a plan to deport asylum seekers from Britain to Rwanda and create a deterrent for migrants using small boats to cross from France.
But, because he calling the election earlier than many expected, that plan has yet to come into effect.
The opposition Labour Party, which is about 20 points ahead in opinion polls, has said it would scrap the Rwanda policy if it comes to power.
Instead, its proposed solution is to create a Border Security Command that would bring together staff from the police, the domestic intelligence agency and prosecutors to work with international agencies to stop people smuggling.


Nigeria warns over cholera outbreak that kills 30

Nigeria warns over cholera outbreak that kills 30
Updated 19 June 2024
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Nigeria warns over cholera outbreak that kills 30

Nigeria warns over cholera outbreak that kills 30
  • Cholera is an acute intestinal infection that spreads through contaminated food and water
  • In 2021, an epidemic killed more than 2,300 people, especially children under the age of 14

LAGOS: Nigerian health officials are issuing warnings over a cholera outbreak that has killed at least 30 people, many of them in the commercial capital Lagos, since the start of the year.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection that spreads through contaminated food and water. It typically causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and muscle cramps — and sometimes death.
Lagos State health officials reported 15 deaths so far and 350 suspected cases, according to a statement on X, formerly Twitter this week.
Lagos Water Corporation warned against consuming water from unreliable or untreated courses.
“According to the Lagos State Ministry of Health, the primary cause of the cholera outbreak has been linked to the consumption of contaminated water and inadequate sanitation,” it said in a statement.
Last week, the Nigerian Center for Disease Control and Prevention alerted the public of the increasing trend in cases of the disease across the country as the rainy season intensifies.
The agency said 30 people had died since the start of the year. An outbreak killed 128 people with more than 3,600 suspected cases across Africa’s most populous country last year compared to two deaths in 2022.
Nigeria is particularly vulnerable to cholera outbreaks.
In 2021, an epidemic killed more than 2,300 people, especially children under the age of 14, according to health authorities.