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Denmark Introduces Bill to Potentially Prohibit Quran Burnings

Date: August 26, 2023

In a move aimed at safeguarding national security, the justice minister of Denmark has put forth a bill that could lead to the prohibition of burning the Quran in public spaces.

On Friday, the Danish government unveiled a proposed bill that could result in the banning of Quran burnings in public settings.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Denmark’s Foreign Minister, conveyed that this legislative step sends a significant political message to the global community.

Under the prospective law, burning a Quran in public could result in fines or a maximum of two years’ imprisonment.

Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard clarified that the new law would be incorporated into the existing regulation that already prohibits the desecration of flags of other countries.

According to Hummelgaard, the legislation would prohibit the “inappropriate treatment of objects with profound religious significance for a religious community.”

Hummelgaard, addressing a press conference, labeled recent instances of Quran burnings as “pointless provocations” designed to incite “discord and animosity.” He emphasized that the primary motive for implementing the ban is to uphold national security.

The bill would establish it as a criminal offense to publicly burn religious texts such as the Quran, the Bible, or the Torah.

The timeline for presenting the proposal to the Danish Parliament’s 179 seats remains uncertain.

The governing coalition, comprised of three parties, controls 88 seats and enjoys additional support from four representatives of the semi-autonomous Danish territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

In a separate incident in July, protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in Baghdad as a response to a planned Quran burning near the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.

While Sweden’s government has recently declined sweeping changes to its freedom of speech laws, officials have indicated a willingness to explore measures that would enable the police to intervene in the public burning of holy books if a clear threat to national security exists.

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