(Bloomberg) -- Swedish police have refused to permit a Koran burning after a similar demonstration harmed its application to join NATO and sparked an outcry against the Nordic country across the Muslim world.

The protest was not given permission after the police determined it could cause serious harm to national security, according to a statement on Wednesday. The event was planned to be held outside the Turkish embassy in the Swedish capital at noon on Thursday, public broadcaster SVT reported earlier.

“Recently, public gatherings to burn the Koran have provoked very strong reactions, which has resulted in a changed threat picture against Sweden,” the police said.

Sweden and Finland’s effort to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been blocked by Turkey’s refusal to ratify their membership bids, with Hungary’s approval also pending. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan initially focused his criticism on what he said was a lack of effort to crack down on terrorist groups, but last month ruled out supporting Sweden’s bid after a far-right activist burned Islam’s holy book in Stockholm, calling the move a “hate crime.”

The activist, Rasmus Paludan, isn’t behind the protest planned for Thursday, the police said, according to SVT.


--With assistance from Niclas Rolander.

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