Sporadic protests hit the streets of Malaysia ’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur on Friday, as Muslims around the world reacted in outrage over the burning of the Koran last weekend by a far-right politician in Sweden . Rasmus Paludan, a convicted Danish-Swedish racist who heads Danish far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), burned a copy of the holy book on January 21 in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, in what has been condemned as an Islamophobia act by leaders of Muslim and Muslim-majority nations. Sweden’s prime minister condemned and apologised for 41-year-old lawyer Paludan’s conduct and other officials also criticised his actions, which are legal under Swedish law. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday said Paludan’s stunt – which was ostensibly aimed at key Nato member Turkey – was a “grave provocation to the sensitivities” of the world’s population of over two billion Muslims. Anwar urged Sweden’s government to take urgent measures against the perpetrators of the act and also “drastic steps in the future to address the alarming rise of Islamophobia” in the Nordic country. Police in Kuala Lumpur estimated some 300 people gathered after Friday prayers for the rally organised by Islamist party PAS. Protesters marched from the popular tourist spot of the KL Twin Towers to the Swedish embassy, chanting “Allahuakbar” (God is great), amid heavy police presence throughout the route. “If Muslims don’t take stern action, these hideous acts will repeat. We want to tell the Swedish people not to emulate that disrespectful action,” PAS MP Zulkifli Ismail told the crowd gathered at the embassy, using a megaphone while standing on the back of a pickup truck. Riots in Sweden over plans by far-right group to burn copies of Koran Earlier, a smaller crowd of around 100 people led by the Malaysian chapter of controversial Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir marched on the Swedish embassy to present a memorandum of protest over the burning of the Koran . The protesters, who had about a dozen children in tow, carried flags, banners and posters denouncing the incident while chanting anti-Western slogans in Malay including “hancur Sweden, hancur Barat” or “destroy Sweden, destroy the West”, according to local news reports. The same group reportedly held a similar protest at the city’s Dutch embassy after Friday prayers over the January 22 desecration of the Koran by Edwin Wagensveld, the Dutch chapter head of the pan-European far-right group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (Pegida). In a statement on Friday, Malaysia’s foreign ministry condemned Wagensveld’s action in The Hague and urged the United Nations , the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the UN’s Human Rights Council to urgently address Islamophobia and find “amicable measures in promoting the full respect and protection for religious scriptures worldwide”. In Indonesia , influential Islamist group 212 Alumni Brotherhood are planning a Monday rally in front of the Swedish embassy in Jakarta to demand that the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation sever ties with Sweden. Slamet Maarif, the group’s spokesperson who was among those who led mass protests in 2018 demanding then-Jakarta governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama be jailed for blasphemy, told CNN Indonesia that he expects “thousands” to join Monday’s rally. Indonesia’s foreign minister had earlier summoned Sweden’s envoy over the Koran-burning incident, which it strongly condemned as an “act of blasphemy” which “hurt and tarnished religious tolerance”. Sweden has been heavily criticised for allowing Paludan to carry out the protest, which was reportedly permitted by Swedish police. The incident damaged already fraught relations between Stockholm and Ankara amid negotiations to secure Turkey’s support for Sweden and Finland to be made members of Nato . Turkey has so far withheld support for Sweden’s bid to join the military alliance, as it presses the Nordic nation to hand over Kurdish activists and prevent rallies criticising Ankara’s leadership. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, according to polls, could lose to presidential challengers in May, is taking a political stance that has proven effective before – criticising perceived Islamophobia in Europe and support for “enemies of Islam”. The high representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), an organisation aiming to galvanise action against extremism, in a January 22 statement described the book-burning as a “vile act” that amounted to “an expression of hatred towards Muslims”. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson swiftly condemned and apologised for Paludan’s conduct, saying that what may have been legal under Swedish law was “not necessarily appropriate”, and that the burning of books “that are holy to many is a deeply disrespectful act”. It was not the first time Paludan has stirred up controversy over his anti-Muslim posturing. Last year, three people were injured in the Swedish town of Norrkoping after dozens of masked rioters attacked police cars ahead of a planned rally by the politician to burn a copy of the Koran. In 2021, Denmark ’s Eastern High Court upheld Paludan’s 2020 conviction for issuing racist and insulting statements but suspended his three-month prison sentence and reduced his fine from 30,000 kroner (US$4,300) to 5,000 kroner. Paludan’s party won 1.8 per cent of the vote in Denmark’s 2019 national elections, falling short of the 2 per cent threshold needed to enter parliament.