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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Denmark to Ban Qur’an Burnings


“The unfree, medieval forces of the Center East have gained a victory immediately”, Denmark’s former immigration minister has mentioned because the nation’s current authorities ploughs on to mollify criticism from the Muslim world by banning Qur’an burnings.

Denmark was the final Scandinavian nation to nonetheless have historic blasphemy legal guidelines on the books when it scrapped its 334-year-old statute in 2017, however now the nation’s left-led authorities is bringing them again. A brand new legislation is being drafted, focused at a surge in Qur’an burning protests not too long ago which might make desecrating any holy e book unlawful, with the federal government saying the laws is a matter of nationwide safety.

Minister of Justice Peter Hummelgaard spoke on the brand new legislation Friday, saying terror threats had elevated not too long ago and this was a purpose to point out extra respect in direction of Islam, calling the wave of Qur’an burnings “meaningless insults which haven’t any different goal than to create discord and hatred”. The protests harmed the pursuits of the Danish state, he added.

In response to studies the change in legislation will likely be achieved by amending the current guidelines which punish with as much as two years imprisonment offences towards overseas nations by publicly insulting them, together with flag burnings. Consequently, Denmark proposes to punish burning all non secular texts together with the Qur’an and the Bible with jail time.

Denmark’s Radical Left social gathering (Radikale Venstre) has mentioned it should help the legislation, regardless of not too long ago having mentioned it was towards new restrictions on freedom of expression. Nationwide broadsheet Berlingske studies Christian Friis Bach, certainly one of their members of parliament, who mentioned of the U-turn: “We had no need to intervene till very not too long ago… “However there have been over 100 Koran burnings in latest months with the only goal of making discord”.

However precisely what constitutes “improper therapy of objects with non secular significance” will likely be up for the courts to determine, the minister mentioned, saying “solely the creativeness units the boundaries” in the case of deciding what’s insulting conduct or not. On the press convention, questions by attending journalists appeared to tease out that burning a scarf wouldn’t, whereas strolling on a Qur’an could be thought of hateful.

This imprecise strategy has already arrange a confrontation with Denmark’s legislation enforcement, who say they don’t wish to be accountable for imposing a contentious rule with no readability on the place precisely it applies. Denmark’s police union spokesman mentioned in response that such a legislation must be as crystal-clear as highway site visitors laws, saying “There have to be no gray areas within the laws. There have to be clear boundaries that make it straightforward to implement… It’s a extremely tense scenario with very excessive political consideration, and it’s one thing that divides [opinions]”.

However that isn’t by far the one criticism of the brand new legislation from inside Denmark. “I feel this invoice is hideous and shameful” says Mette Thiesen, MP and spokesman the Danish Folks’s Social gathering studies BT. Rasmus Paludan, the anti-Islamification activist who has burnt Qur’ans for years to display the violent response as proof of the intolerance of some Muslim communities towards Western freedom of expression reacted extra philosophically. The paper reported him as having mentioned: “I’ll most likely discover a option to criticize Islam. My aim is to display whether or not Islam is a peaceable faith”.

Maybe the strongest criticism got here from former authorities minister Inger Støjberg, who was the minister for immigration between 2015 and 2019, and now leads the opposition Denmark Democrats social gathering in Parliament. She mentioned the rule was a “1-0 to the Muslims” and that “Now the unfree, medieval forces within the Center East have gained a victory immediately. They will now see that they will dictate our lifestyle in Denmark, as a result of now we have a authorities that bows to threats and stress”.

The legislation is just too extensive in its interpretation, she informed Berlingske, saying it was unfair on the police to count on them to should interpret it. “It’s a reintroduction of the blasphemy clause. You simply name it one thing else”, she mentioned.

As additionally noticed by legislation professor Frederik Waage and reported by BT, the modifications being punished now are basically rolling the legislation again to the way it was earlier than 2017, when Denmark’s historic blasphemy legal guidelines had been repealed. When that legislation was repealed after 334 years on the books, each social gathering within the Danish Parliament voted in favour of abolition besides the left-wing Social Democrats, whose chief Mette Frederiksen is now Prime Minister, and whose Peter Hummelgaard is now the Justice Minister pushing the legislation.

The abolition was celebrated on the time for permitting “extra free and unprejudiced dialogue about religions” and selling secularism, observing the legislation allowed non secular teams to have “utterly unreasonable” energy over freedom of expression in Denmark. It was additionally noticed that whereas the legislation banned assaults on all religions, for a number of years it had solely ever been utilized when it got here to demonstrations towards Islam.

Different nations that abolished their blasphemy legal guidelines as a part of liberalising their societies are actually, within the age of mass migration, seeking to reverse that course of and convey the legal guidelines again. Amongst them is Sweden, which abolished its final Blasphemy legal guidelines in 1970, having had numerous types of them on the books since 1563, and amid calls for from the Islamic world — together with an try to blackmail Sweden into performing by withholding NATO membership by Turkey — it too is bringing them again.


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