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Danish opposition parties protest plans to ban Quran-burning

Scandinavian lawmakers have suggested a legal instrument to outlaw the burning of religious texts could be introduced

Seven Danish political parties have issued an objection to government plans to make it illegal to desecrate copies of the Quran or any sacred texts, collectively saying that any moves to do so are incompatible with the EU country’s guarantees to protect freedom of expression.

“All undersigned parties uphold fundamental Danish civil liberties and are of the opinion that civil liberties must always take precedence of religious dogmas,” the seven political parties said in a joint statement issued on Thursday.

They added: “The veto of the violent man must not prevail and must not set the boundaries for Danish politics and Danish democracy.”


Several recent instances in which copies of the Quran were set alight in both Denmark and its Scandinavian neighbor Sweden have prompted widespread scorn in the Muslim world.

Iran and Pakistan were among several predominantly Muslim nations to have expressed fierce condemnation of the Quran-burning protests in Scandinavia, with Pakistan’s foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari saying last month that they amount to an “incitement to religious hatred, discrimination and attempts to provoke violence.”

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People hold copies of the Quran during a protest outside the Swedish Consulate on July 30, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey
Denmark strengthens border controls

Lawmakers in both Denmark and Sweden have suggested that formal laws to outlaw the burning of sacred texts could be introduced.


On Wednesday, Swedish prime minister Ulf Kristersson said that he was in “close dialogue” with Danish leader Mette Frederiksen regarding the matter. Kristersson added that Stockholm and Copenhagen “share the same analysis: The situation is dangerous and measures are needed to strengthen our resilience.”

However, the collective of opposition parties in Denmark views as an unacceptable imposition on its affairs any measures that could be viewed as foreign entities dictating domestic policy, the opposition statement added.

The parties behind the statement come from a wide political spectrum, encompassing the far-right New Right party to the far-left Red-Green Alliance. The seven-strong group collectively holds 72 seats in Denmark’s 178-member parliament. The government, a coalition of three center-right and center-left parties, has a total of 88 parliamentary seats.

It was announced on Thursday that Denmark is to impose stricter controls on its borders until August 10 to combat potential security concerns presented by Quran-burning protests.


August 04, 2023 at 10:04PM

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