The Danish government has announced a proposal to ban the public burning of religious texts, including the Quran, the Bible, the Torah, and other objects of significant religious importance.
This move comes after several incidents of Quran burnings in front of foreign embassies, sparking outrage in Muslim-majority countries.
Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard (S) described the burning of the Quran as "a fundamentally scornful and unsympathetic act" that harms Denmark and Danish interests.
He emphasized that the law is necessary due to an increased threat and that it does not risk a slippery slope regarding freedom of speech.
The proposed law would expand an existing paragraph that already prohibits the burning of other nations' flags. The wording will specifically state that it is punishable to treat objects of significant religious importance to a faith community improperly.
The penalty for violating this law could be a fine or up to two years in prison. Over the spring and summer, several Quran burnings have taken place, leading the government to explore ways to prevent the burning of holy scriptures in specific situations.
The government acknowledges the difficulty in balancing legal and political considerations. "We could not continue to silently watch a few individuals repeatedly do everything they can to provoke violent reactions," said Hummelgaard.
The law is placed in the Criminal Code's Chapter 12, which also deals with state security. The core motivation for this intervention is the safety and security of the state and its citizens.