Arab Parliament Welcomes Danish Move to Criminalize Desecration of Holy Books
In a significant development, the Arab Parliament has expressed its support for the Danish government’s decision to make it a crime to desecrate any holy book in Denmark. The move comes in response to a series of public desecrations of the Qur’an by anti-Islam activists, which has sparked outrage and protests in Muslim countries.
The Arab Parliament Speaker, Adel bin Abdul Rahman Al-Asoumi, commended the Danish government’s proposed law and expressed hope that it would contribute to reducing the heinous crimes witnessed in Denmark recently. He called on Sweden and other European countries to follow Denmark’s example and urged the European Parliament to adopt a similar law at the collective level to protect religious sanctities and symbols.
Denmark’s center-right government introduced the legislation following a wave of unprovoked acts of desecration against the Muslim holy book. One notable incident occurred on June 28, 2023, when an Iraqi refugee tore and set fire to pages of the Qur’an outside the Stockholm Mosque in Sweden. Subsequent protests in Denmark saw extremists burning copies of the Qur’an outside the embassies of several Muslim countries.
In response to the backlash against Danish missions abroad, Denmark’s Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard announced the government’s intention to extend the existing ban on burning foreign flags to include “improper treatment of objects of significant religious significance.” The proposed law aims to punish actions carried out in public or with the intention of spreading hatred and discord. Offenders could face fines or up to two years in prison.
Hummelgaard emphasized that the recent protests were “senseless taunts” that only sought to create division and animosity. By criminalizing such acts, Denmark aims to send a strong message that religious sanctities should be respected and protected.
The Arab Parliament’s support for Denmark’s initiative reflects the growing concern over the rise in acts of religious desecration. It highlights the need for collective action to prevent the spread of hatred and intolerance. By making it a crime to desecrate holy books, countries can deter individuals from engaging in such offensive behavior and promote respect for religious diversity.
The Danish government’s decision has also prompted calls for other European countries to follow suit. Arab Parliament Speaker Al-Asoumi specifically called on Sweden to adopt a similar law, given the surge in desecration incidents in the country. The hope is that by implementing legislation to protect religious symbols and sanctities, European nations can create a more inclusive and harmonious society.
The move to criminalize the desecration of holy books is not without controversy. Critics argue that it may infringe on freedom of speech and expression. However, proponents of the law argue that there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and actions that incite hatred and violence. By targeting public acts of desecration, the legislation seeks to strike a balance between protecting religious sensitivities and upholding fundamental rights.
Denmark’s proposed law sends a powerful message that religious tolerance and respect are essential values in a diverse society. It sets a precedent for other countries to take similar measures to safeguard religious sanctities. The Arab Parliament’s support for Denmark’s initiative demonstrates the importance of international cooperation in addressing issues that transcend national borders.
In conclusion, the Arab Parliament’s endorsement of Denmark’s move to criminalize the desecration of holy books is a significant step towards promoting religious harmony and respect. By taking a strong stance against acts of desecration, Denmark aims to protect religious sanctities and discourage actions that incite hatred and division. The support from the Arab Parliament underscores the need for collective action in addressing this issue and encourages other countries to follow suit.