A small group of men in Sweden and Denmark have ignited an enormous global controversy by burning copies of the Quran this year. These acts of desecration against Islam's most holy book have led to a painful debate about freedom of speech in two liberal European nations, as well as outrage in parts of the Islamic world. They have also been exploited by world leaders looking to make political gains.
This current wave of Quran burning ignited in January by Danish-Swedish far-right provocateur Rasmus Paludan outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. Paludan followed up again the next week outside the Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen. However, it was brought to further global attention in June, on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, when an Iraqi man burned a Quran outside a mosque in Copenhagen and placed a strip of bacon on it.