Lazy eyes listen
According to Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard, the Danish government is working on legislation that would make it criminal to openly mistreat or destroy religious property. A recent spate of Quran burnings in Denmark has strained relations between Copenhagen and a number of Muslim countries.
On Friday, the minister told reporters that the government will shortly introduce laws barring “the inappropriate handling of objects with essential religious significance.” He explained that the bill would make public burning of the Quran, Bible, or Torah illegal.
According to Hummelgaard, a recent spate of Quran burnings has led to Denmark being “increasingly seen” as a country that “facilitates insult and denigration of other countries and religions,” and that such activities endanger Danes’ safety.
If the bill is passed, actions of public burning of sacred texts or other devotional objects would be punished by fines or up to two years in prison, according to the ministry. He did not, however, say when parliament would vote on the bill.
Danish opposition parties have expressed concern over the idea, claiming that a ban on Quran burnings would violate free expression. In response to the criticism, Hummelgaard stated that he “fundamentally believes” that there are “more civilized ways to express one’s views than burning things.”