Copenhagen: After a spate of outrageous cases, the government in Denmark has finally decided to introduce a Bill that if passed could lead to a nationwide ban on burnings of the Holy Quran and other religious scriptures.
The Bill, being prepared amidst outrage in the Muslim world, is yet to be introduced in the country's parliament.
Denmark’s Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, told Danish radio that the move sends an “important political signal” to the rest of the world, according to Al Jazeera.
Under the new Bill, burning a Quran and other religious books would be a crime subject to penalties or a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
Denmark’s Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard elaborating on the proposed law said it is intended to be prepared into the same regulation that currently bans the desecration of other countries’ flags.
The Danish law would prohibit the “improper treatment of objects of religious significance to a religious community”, the minister said.
Addressing a press conference, Hummelgaard said that a series of recent Quran burnings were “senseless taunts” aimed to incite “discord and hatred”, adding that national security was the primary “motivation” for the ban.
Denmark and Sweden have seen a string of protests in public in recent weeks where copies of Holy Quran have been burned or otherwise desecrated, prompting widespread outrage in Muslim nations which have demanded the Nordic governments to put a stop to the outrageous actions, reported Reuters.
“We can’t continue to stand by with our arms crossed while several individuals do everything they can to provoke violent reactions,” Hummelgaard said.
The government rejected protests by some Danish opposition parties that said banning Quran burnings would infringe on free speech.
"I fundamentally believe there are more civilised ways to express one's views than burning things," Hummelgaard said.
The bill would make it illegal to openly burn the Quran, Torah or Bible.
The time for the bill proposal to the 179-seat Danish Parliament is still unknown.
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