Denmark Is Set To Prohibit The Burning Of The Holy Quran
Denmark announced its intention to prohibit the burning of the Holy Quran after a series of disrespectful acts against the sacred text stirred outrage in Muslim nations. In response to the backlash, Denmark and neighboring Sweden bolstered their security measures earlier this month due to incidents of Quran burnings.
The Danish government aims to make it a criminal offense to treat religiously significant objects improperly, particularly focusing on burnings and desecrations that occur in public spaces. Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard explained that such acts were fundamentally disrespectful and detrimental to Denmark’s reputation and interests.
The proposed legislation would be added to chapter 12 of Denmark’s penal code, which pertains to national security. Hummelgaard emphasized that the primary motivation behind the ban was to safeguard national security.
Hummelgaard stressed that the objective was not to infringe on freedom of expression. The ban, to be presented to parliament on September 1, is expected to be approved, given the government’s majority.
The ban comes six years after Denmark abolished its longstanding blasphemy law. The Foreign Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, acknowledged that the Quran burnings had sparked significant anger worldwide. He anticipated that there might be further incidents of Quran burnings before the new law takes effect.
In 2006, the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad had led to a wave of anti-Danish sentiments. Similarly, Sweden heightened its terror alert level due to the Quran burnings, which made the country a prioritized target.
While both Denmark and Sweden acknowledge the importance of freedom of speech, they are taking steps to address protests involving the burning of holy texts in certain circumstances.