Sweden and Denmark seek to legislate to prevent desecrations of sacred texts

At the request of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, an extraordinary meeting is held Monday, July 31 in Jeddah between the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the subject of the desecration of Korans in Sweden and Denmark . In Stockholm and Copenhagen, new burnings of religious books are planned for the next few days. Denmark and Sweden have announced that they are seeking legal solutions to stem this phenomenon, which has created tensions with countries of Muslim culture, as well as a “dangerous situation”, according to Sweden.

It is in the name of security that the Danish government will explore all legal avenues that could make it possible to ban certain offensive demonstrations. This in a very specific way, and without affecting the freedom of expression protected by the Constitution.

To legitimize exceptions to the rule, the Danish Foreign Minister recalled that these desecrations are perpetrated by a “handful of individuals”, whose main goal is to “provoke, sow division, play into the hands of extremists”.

And it’s not just an image or reputation problem for Denmark, added Lars Lokke Rasmussen. The head of diplomacy was probably referring to the boycotts, death threats and foiled attacks in 2005, after the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad by a Danish newspaper.

Same urgency in Sweden: Stockholm is also looking for a legal tool. “The situation is dangerous […] for our national security,” wrote Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson on Sunday evening after a remarked silence. However, the head of the Swedish government must deal with his far-right parliamentary ally, the Sweden Democrats Party, some of whose deputies have made Islamophobic statements in recent days.

Meanwhile, according to the latest polls, Swedes and Danes are largely in favor of banning these book burnings. This while in Copenhagen and Stockholm, new desecrations of the Koran are planned from Monday and in the coming weeks.

This article is originally published on rfi.fr

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