Liaison office of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al Sistani (L.M.H.L) in London, Europe, North and South America.
The following is the text of his speech in Diwan Al-Kafeel - London:
It is unfortunate and shameful in this twenty-first century for a country, claiming to be civilized, to approve of the burning of a divine book under the pretext of freedom of opinion, especially when we see that the Qur’an respects all religions, beliefs and scared scriptures and forbids insulting the symbols of other religions:
((Say, ˹O believers,˺ “We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us; and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and his descendants; and what was given to Moses, Jesus, and other prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them. And to Allah we all submit.”)). Holy Qur’an 2:136
Rather, the Holy Qur’an commands the believers to refrain from cursing the deities of the polytheists so that they do not insult Allah: ((˹O believers! ˺ Do not insult what they invoke besides Allah or they will insult Allah spitefully out of ignorance.)) Holy Qur’an 6:108
We know the United Nations laws prohibits and criminalizes the spread of hatred among humanity because of the prejudice it causes to the freedom of others, as well as the infringement of the spiritual sanctities.
Then a hateful person, provoked by elements hostile to Islam - to create divisions between nations – comes and burns a holy book which is embraced by more than two billion Muslims around the world, all with the official approval of the country where he sought refuge in.
Such practice is contrary to divine orders and international laws, with no room to consider freedom of opinion here because it causes an insult to the sanctities and an infringement on the freedom of others.
Therefore, we call on all free people in the world and all religious, social and political entities to stand against this crime - to respect the divine books and sacred symbols. We must differentiate between conscious and responsible freedom that does not infringe on the freedom of others, and irresponsible freedom that ignores the sanctities and freedoms of others. We also call on international organizations to criminalize such acts and hold those responsible accountable in order to preserve social and world peace.
We therefore thank the Iraqi government and other governments for the appropriate measures they adopted - in line with the event.
However, we believe that such an act does not even touch the sanctity of the Qur’an and its standing, for Allah Almighty preserves and guards it from all evil and dislike, for His saying ((It is certainly We Who have revealed the Reminder, and it is certainly We Who will preserve it.)) Holy Qur’an 15:9
It should be noted that this incident, even if it hurts the feelings of millions of people, but as the saying goes “what appears destructive is actually constructive” because the world is looking forward to reading the Holy Qur’an now and discovering its enlightening treasures and countless beneficial knowledge for all mankind.
Therefore, international institutions and academies need to intensify the printing of the Holy Qur’an in different languages to cater for its increased demand after this incident.
This ((They planned, but Allah also planned. And Allah is the best of planners.)) Holy Qur’an 8:30