EPARasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right party Stram Kurs
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 17:19
The Danish parliament has approved a law banning the burning of religious texts in books. In practice, this means a ban on Quran burnings. There was a lot of unrest about this in the Scandinavian country last year.
The law is intended to put an end to “systematic mockery” of religious practices, according to Danish Justice Minister Hummelgaard. The law received 94 votes in favor and 77 against. Eight parliamentarians did not vote. Officially, the law prohibits the “inappropriate treatment” of “texts of interest to a religious group” in public.
The proposed law received criticism during the debate from, among others, the right wing of parliament. Parliamentarians argued that Denmark should not change its laws because foreign nations take offense to something happening in Denmark.
Storming in Baghdad
Quran burnings are more common in Scandinavian countries and this has previously led to protests in Muslim countries. More than 500 demonstrations by anti-Islam activists have taken place since July. During some of these demonstrations, Qurans were set on fire in front of embassies and mosques. There were also burnings in neighborhoods with relatively many immigrants.
“Such demonstrations could damage Danish ties with other nations and are a problem for our own interests and our own security,” said Justice Minister Hummelgaard.
Last summer, reports of the burnings led to a large demonstration at the Danish embassy in Baghdad. The demonstrators tried to storm the embassy building in the heavily secured Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, where many embassies and government buildings are located.
At the beginning of this year, the Danish embassy in Turkey had to be called to account after two Qurans were set on fire during a protest in Copenhagen. That action came from the Swedish-Danish politician Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right party Stram Kurs (Hard Line).