Denmark outlaws Quran burnings as critics claim government is kowtowing to Islamic extremists

By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

The Danish parliament voted on Thursday to make the burning of holy scriptures in public places a criminal offense.

The bill which prohibits religious texts such as the Quran and the Bible from being treated in an “inappropriate manner” will come into effect within seven days.

The center-left coalition government led by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s Social Democrats supported the bill which passed with the backing of 94 votes to 77 against.

“I understand that this is a matter of principle for many people. It has been a difficult balancing act,” said Minister of Justice Peter Hummelgaard following the vote.

He accepted the government had decided to act due to national security threats made against the country after public burnings of the Quran in recent times.

“When we weigh Denmark’s security against the right of a few individuals to repeatedly deliberately set fire to things that mean a lot to many others in order to provoke violent reactions, we choose Denmark’s security,” Hummelgaard added.

Denmark’s opposition claimed the move was a return to the country’s blasphemy law that was abolished back in 2017. Under the 334-year-old legislation, Danes could be imprisoned for up to four months for publicly insulting religion or burning holy books.

Inger Støjberg, leader of the right-wing Denmark Democrats, accused the government of kowtowing to extremists and curtailing free speech.

“Consider that the Swedes stand firm for the rights of freedom, while the Danish government largely bows to the violent men’s veto,” she said after the vote.

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