- Announcement comes in response to backlash over desecrations in Denmark and Sweden.
- Danish govt says it can’t compromise on broad scope of freedom of expression.
- Recent desecrations raise tensions between Nordic countries and Middle East.
COPENHAGEN: The Danish government will seek to “find a legal tool” that would enable authorities to prevent the desecration of the Holy Quran, Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told the national broadcaster DR on Sunday.
The development comes after the country faced a strong backlash over recent incidents of burning the sacred scripture in front of other countries’ embassies.
“The burnings are deeply offensive and reckless acts committed by few individuals. These few individuals do not represent the values the Danish society is built on,” Rasmussen said separately in a statement.
“The Danish government will therefore explore the possibility of intervening in special situations where, for instance, other countries, cultures, and religions are being insulted, and where this could have significant negative consequences for Denmark, not least with regard to security,” he said.
Denmark and Sweden have found themselves in the international spotlight in recent weeks following anti-Islam protests where the Holy Quran was been damaged or burned, stiring anger in the Muslim world.
Both countries have said they deplore the burning of the Muslim sacred book but cannot prevent it under rules protecting free speech.
In his statement, Rasmussen added that whatever measure was taken “must of course be done within the framework of the constitutionally protected freedom of expression and in a manner that does not change the fact that freedom of expression in Denmark has very broad scope”.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is holding an extraordinary virtual session for the Council of Foreign Ministers of Member States (CFM) today to discuss the repeated incidents of desecration and burning of copies of the Holy Quran in Sweden and Denmark.
“This session has been convened at the request of Saudi Arabia, the Chair of the 14th Islamic Summit, and the Republic of Iraq,” the top Muslim bloc said in a statement.