Denmark Bans Quran Desecration
Burning religious writings will now be illegal in Denmark. The vote on the law was preceded by hours of debate. In the summer, Quran burnings in Scandinavia sparked protests around the world.
Burning the Quran or other religious writings in Denmark will now be forbidden. The Danish parliament passed a corresponding law. The “inappropriate treatment” of writings with “significant religious significance for recognized religious communities” should, therefore, be punishable for up to two years. It will also be a criminal offence to, for example, burn the Bible or the Torah in public or step on them.
Quran burnings in Denmark and Sweden in the summer led to angry reactions and violent protests in Muslim countries – there was also diplomatic trouble for the Scandinavian states. In July, almost a thousand demonstrators marched in protest to the Danish embassy in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
Against this background, the Danish government presented a draft law in September that would ban the inappropriate treatment of religious objects. The new legal text only refers to writings with essential religious significance.
The Danish Ministry of Justice argued that the law was intended to put an end to the “systematic mockery” of believers, which had also led to an increased risk of terrorism in Denmark. Denmark and Sweden had increased their security precautions due to the tensions.
After hours of debate in the Danish Parliament, 94 MPs voted for and 77 against the law. The opposition accuses the government of using the so-called Quran law to restrict freedom of expression and to bow to the will of Islamist regimes.