Denmark’s parliament has decisively acted to address the escalating tensions surrounding the desecration of the Holy Quran by adopting a law criminalizing the “inappropriate treatment” of religious texts. The legislative move to ban the desecration of the Holy Quran comes in response to a series of incidents over the summer that provoked widespread anger in Muslim countries and raised concerns about the security of Denmark and its citizens.

Protecting Religious Sanctity by Banning the Desecration of the Holy Quran

The newly passed bill, with 94 votes in favor and 77 opposed, prohibits the “inappropriate treatment of writings with significant religious importance for a recognized religious community.” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard emphasized the need to safeguard Denmark’s security against the systematic insults witnessed over an extended period. The law specifically targets public acts like burning, tearing, or defiling holy texts, whether done physically or in videos intended for widespread dissemination.

Individuals found in violation of this law, subject to evaluation after three years, face penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment for up to two years. However, the ban excludes works of art where a desecration constitutes a minor part of a larger artistic production, according to the Associated Press.

The Recent Unrest

The legislation follows a tumultuous period during which Denmark and Sweden faced criticism and protests from Muslim countries due to incidents of Quran burnings. Denmark recorded 483 such incidents between July 21 and October 24, prompting the temporary tightening of border controls in response to heightened security concerns.

Originally announced in August, the bill underwent amendments after facing criticism for potential limitations on freedom of expression. The initial draft sparked concerns about a return to a blasphemy law, which was abolished in Denmark in 2017; grappling with similar challenges, Sweden is exploring alternative approaches to legally curbing Quran desecrations, contemplating factors such as national security in deciding on public protest applications.

Read more: Unrest Erupts in Pakistan After Blasphemy Allegations; Christian Churches and Homes Targeted


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