Desecration of holy books could become a crime in Denmark

Copenhagen : The government is proposing legislation that would outlaw the actions of provocateurs who have burned copies of the quran in the name of free speech.

The Danish government on Friday said it will propose a law that would make it illegal to desecrate any holy book in Denmark, where a recent string of public desecrations of the Quran by a handful of anti-Islam activists has sparked angry demonstrations in Muslim countries.

Denmark has been viewed as a country that facilitates insults and denigration of the cultures, religions and traditions of other countries, the government said.

The centre-right government seeks to extend Denmark’s existing ban on burning foreign flags by also “prohibiting improper treatment of objects of significant religious significance to a religious community,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said.

“The bill will make it punishable, for example, to burn the Quran or the Bible in public. It will only aim at actions in a public place or with the intention of spreading in a wider circle,” Hummelgaard said. He said such acts would be punishable by fines or up to two years in prison.

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