Due to security and diplomatic concerns, Denmark and Sweden are considering banning protests involving burning religious texts.
According to the Danish foreign ministry, such protests benefit extremists and pose a security threat. At the same time, protecting freedom of expression is crucial, so the goal is to maintain its very broad scope while safeguarding Denmark’s international reputation: due to the latest controversial protests, in many parts of the world Denmark is now being viewed as a country that facilitates the denigration of cultures, religions, and traditions of other countries. Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson also said that a similar process was already underway work on a similar process has begun there, in order to strengthen Swedish national security and the security of Swedes in Sweden and around the world. In recent weeks, both Scandinavian countries have come under pressure after authorities gave permission for a series of controversial protests where Islam’s holy book was burned or stamped on, stoking diplomatic tensions with several Muslim-majority nations: in June and July, an Iraqi Christian refugee living in Sweden was twice given permission to burn a copy of the Quran outside Stockholm‘s central mosque. Last week, two Danish far-right activists stamped on a Quran and set it alight next to an Iraqi flag on the ground outside Iraq’s embassy in Copenhagen.
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