Austria bans distribution of Quran, use of full-face veil
An ancient handwritten copy of the holy Quran Reuters

A protest against Islam organized by the far-right group 'Stop Islamization of Norway' (SIAN) took a violent turn after the group's leader Lars Thorsen lit the holy Quran, leading to a brawl between the leader and the counter-protesters.

The incident took place on Saturday in the Norwegian city of Kristianland. An anti-Islam rally was organized by SIAN, which was allowed by the local authorities. But the police warned against desecration of the holy Quran, after the group expressed its intent to do so.

Offensive allegations were leveled against Islam, calling it 'a religion of violence' and Prophet Mohammad, 'a pedophile'. The event, which was being held under police watch, took a violent turn after the group's leader Lars Thorsen suddenly lit the holy Quran. Two other copies were thrown in the dustbin.

In the video that has surfaced online, Thorsen is seen flicking the book aside, when a man approaches him aggressively, grabs him and tries to kick him. It is when the police intervenes to stop the brawl.

Police is reported to have arrested Thorsen, along with the attackers. Meanwhile, Turkey has condemned the incident. Muslim leaders in Norway, on Monday, said that they would file hate crime charges against SIAN, Norway Today reported.

Lars Thorsen, SIAN's leader, was recently sentenced to a prison term of 30 days and a fine, for distributing pamphlets, accusing Muslims of being 'notorious sexual predators' who 'rape in epidemic proportions'.

'Stop Islamization of Norway' is a far-right anti-Islam group, that was established in 2008. The group works to counter proliferation of Islam, which it calls a totalitarian political ideology, completely incompatible with the democratic and human right values of the Scandinavian nation.

A rise in Islamophobia is being witnessed, chiefly in Western Europe and America, mainly due to the surge in Muslim refugees, who have migrated to these nations in order to evade war and civil unrest in their home countries.