TikTok stops Stockholm Quran burner from earning income

The popular short-form video hosting service TikTok has blocked Salwan Momika, an Iraqi refugee who burned copies of the Quran in Sweden, from profiting from his content, local media reported Tuesday.

TikTok officials confirmed that the platform has deactivated a feature making it possible for users to give money to Momika, Radio Sweden reported.

From now on, users will not be able to use TikTok’s “gift” feature when interacting with videos posted by Momika, who has desecrated the Muslim holy book in a series of anti-Islam protests that have sparked outrage in many Muslim countries.

Speaking to the Swedish news agency TT, Momika, who lives in Stockholm, said his Quran burning videos get millions of views.

Noting that he earned between $100 and $300 from TikTok in an hour during a livestream, he said he has no other income and that TikTok has turned off this income-generating feature.

The Aftonbladet newspaper reported that Momika was convicted in 2021 for threatening an Eritrean asylum seeker with a knife while he was staying at an accommodation housing refugees.

It added that Momika was sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work in public and was ordered to pay $1,000 in compensation to the asylum seeker.

Meanwhile, a well-known retired criminologist suggested that those who misuse freedom of expression to burn copies of the Quran should be sentenced to prison.

Freedom of expression is not something that “a few idiots” freely use to threaten Sweden’s interests and the lives of individual citizens, Leif Persson told local TV4.

Persson added that he thinks that Momika, Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) Party, or other similar figures should not be allowed to disrespect the Quran like this.

– Provocative acts of Quran burning in Sweden, Denmark

Sweden and Denmark have faced a wide range of criticism for allowing the public desecration of the Quran under police protection.

Paludan continued to burn copies of the Quran in the Swedish cities of Malmo, Norrkoping and Jonkoping as well as in the capital Stockholm during the Easter holiday last year.

On Jan. 21, he burned a copy of the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Sweden and on Jan. 27 outside the Turkish Embassy in Denmark.

Momika burned a copy of the Muslim holy book outside a mosque in Stockholm on Jan. 28 during Eid al-Adha, one of the major Islamic religious festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide.

On July 20 outside the Iraqi Embassy in Sweden, he threw a copy of the Quran and the Iraqi flag on the ground and stepped on them. He burned a Quran outside Sweden’s parliament on July 31.

Iranian immigrant Bahrami Marjan staged similar provocative acts on Ängbybadet beach in Stockholm on Aug. 3.

Momika also staged another Quran burning outside the Iranian Embassy in Stockholm early in August.

He most recently burned a copy of the holy book in front of the Stockholm Mosque on Thursday.

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