Danish Man Charged with Blasphemy for Burning Quran in Denmark
“The blasphemy charge was an attempt to appease the fast-growing Muslim population in Denmark and to avoid possible acts of terrorism and retaliation.”
By CFI Field Staff
Burning a Quran in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia is blasphemy, an act punishable by death. In fact, most Muslim majority nations have similar laws based on Sharia Law.
But is this now happening in Europe?
As Muslim migrants to Europe increase in numbers, so does their influence. Instead of adopting European traditions and laws, Muslim immigrants stay steadfast to Sharia Law, and try to enforce their ways upon their new host countries.
Nowhere is this more of an issue than the small, formally peaceful nation of Denmark; a nation long known for its support of the right to free speech.
Muslims Pouring in to Denmark
Over the past two years, Denmark has taken in more than 36,000 Muslim refugees. Its 5.7 native population as a percentage has dropped to 88 percent today from 97 percent in 1980.
The arrival of Muslim refugees has sparked a heated debate about migration in the country, as there has been a spike in major crime throughout this normally tranquil country.
They are not Assimilating
In an unusual move, the quiet and respected Queen of Denmark, Queen Margarethe II, made several public statements regarding the influx of Muslim refugees: “Living here doesn’t make you one of us.” Continuing, she said, “It’s not a law of nature that one becomes Danish by living in Denmark. It doesn’t necessarily happen.”
“We thought that these things would take care of themselves. That if you walked through the streets of Copenhagen and drank the municipal water and rode the municipal bus, you’d soon become a Dane.”
“It was so obvious to us, and therefore we thought that it must also be obvious for those who settled and lived here. It wasn’t,” said the Queen.
Speaking about the cultural values some migrants bring with them, the Queen also lamented, said, “We cannot pretend that it wears off by itself. It won’t. Many of us thought that people who come to a strange place are a kind of a blotting paper that absorbs everything new.”
“The task becomes harder, however, when so many people having various backgrounds and a particular religion arrive at once. They risk isolating themselves regardless of their will.”
She said: “If you can’t formulate what you stand for, it is hard to tell others about it. It needs to be worked on and every once in a while you need to put your foot down with somebody and say ‘Hey! That won’t do’.”
Her remarks were extremely outspoken for a royal who, like England’s Queen Elizabeth, has traditionally attempted to remain above the political fray.
But they were welcomed by the Danish Culture Minister Bertel Haarder, who said the Queen was simply voicing the concerns of many ordinary Danes.
Besides major crime, there are other changes happening to Danish culture, as Muslims become more vocal and gain more stature in the country.
Danish Man Charged with Blasphemy for Burning a Quran
This February, a Danish man who posted a video of himself setting fire to the Quran on Facebook was charged with blasphemy in the first such prosecution for 46 years.
In December 2015, the 42-year-old suspect videoed himself burning a copy of the Quran in his backyard and posted the video into an open Facebook group called “YES TO FREEDOM – NO TO ISLAM “. Together with the video he wrote the text “think of your neighbor, it stinks when it burns.”
Jan Reckendorff, from the public prosecutor’s office in Viborg, said: “It is the prosecution’s view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Quran can in some cases be a violation of the blasphemy clause, which covers public scorn or mockery of religion.
The blasphemy charge was an attempt to appease the fast-growing Muslim population in Denmark and to avoid possible acts of terrorism and retaliation. This charge can carry up to 4 months in prison in Denmark.
There is no doubt among the Danish that — as free speech — anyone could burn a Bible without facing charges of blasphemy in Denmark. But as Islam grows in numbers, stature, and influence, that free speech may only apply to the aggressive immigrant population. Denmark, as with the rest of Europe, may see many changes ahead, and not for the better.