Sunday, June 23, 2024

Denmark bans Quran burning – New York Times

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Denmark on Thursday banned the “mishandling” of religious texts in public after a spate of Koran burnings in Scandinavia caused an uproar in Muslim communities.

Under a new law passed by parliament, those found guilty of the crime could be fined or sentenced to up to two years in prison.

“The burning of the Quran must stop,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard, who introduced the bill, said on Instagram Thursday. β€œWe must keep Denmark and Danes safe.”

Desecration of the Quran is currently prohibited in both public and private spaces if the act is recorded and distributed.

Like Sweden, Denmark has struggled in recent months to balance a strong commitment to free speech with anger and outrage over arson attacks in Muslim-majority countries, where governments have condemned the act. I’m having a hard time. Both the Swedish and Danish governments have said the risk of terrorist attacks has increased in recent months.

Hummelgaard said there have been more than 500 demonstrations in Denmark in recent months amid widespread anti-immigration and anti-Muslim sentiment, including one in which Korans were burned.

A group of Danish nationalists filmed themselves burning what they said was the Koran, and they publicly desecrated it at least twice in Sweden, leading to attacks on embassies in Iraq and attacks on foreign diplomats. was summoned by Iranian authorities.

Danish authorities said the fire had placed the country in a diplomatically difficult situation and the government could not afford to stand idly by. They billed the law as a targeted intervention aimed at protecting the safety of Danes abroad and at home.

A spokesperson for the Moderate Party, which is part of the coalition government, said: “The level of the terrorist threat to Denmark is alarmingly high.” β€œThis law was introduced out of necessity, not greed.”

However, the measure was harshly criticized by opponents, including the right-wing Freedom Alliance Party. Freedom Alliance MP Stephen Larsen said during a heated debate in Parliament on Thursday that this was a product of “political correctness” and “designed to suppress free speech and artistic freedom”. He said it was a thing.

Larsen said the move was “not something to be proud of.”

Nina Palesa Bonde, an associate judge at the Copenhagen District Court, also criticized the ban, saying: discuss on social media It claimed to protect texts that are “used in many countries as a death sentence against women, Jews, and homosexuals.”

Hummelgaard assured that the new law does not prohibit religious criticism or caricatures. But he said that while criticism of religion should be given a wide space, “it’s not very intelligent to destroy books to criticize something you don’t like.”

The Swedish government is also considering ways to prevent Quran burnings, including expanding existing security laws that allow police to refuse permits for demonstrations on the grounds that they could threaten Sweden’s security. Nils Funke said. Free speech expert based in Stockholm.

christina anderson Contributed to the report.

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