Skip to Content

Denmark reinvigorates blasphemy laws

Denmark's Attorney General has just charged a Dane for burning a Quran, after the country decided to invoke an old blasphemy provision, still in the penal code and only ever used three times. The last time it was used, was nearly half a century ago, in 1971.

Published: March 9, 2017, 9:55 am

    Read more

    The decision stunned many as no one had been convicted of blasphemy in Denmark since 1946. In that year, a Dane dressed himself up as a priest and mock-baptized a doll at a masquerade ball.

    Blasphemy had been a criminal offence for centuries in Christian countries, but now generally considered a relic of the past. In largely atheist societies, few people take offense to blasphemous comments or acts against Christians. Today, even burning the Danish flag is not a punishable crime.

    The famous French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, is a case in point. It has published countless offending anti-Christian covers, illustrations, cartoons and articles, as Christian blasphemers do not have to deal with threats or violence and such publishers are not worried about “offending” Christians. In January 2015, 12 people died an jihadist assault on the newspaper.

    In 1997, Danish public service radio even financed an artist burning a Bible and broadcast it on national television to showcase a “progressive” bent. No one was charged, even though there were complaints and the state prosecutor investigated the case.

    Since 2005, when the newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, the matter has been at the forefront, after the published cartoon led to deadly riots, attacks on Danish embassies in the Middle East and a trade boycott against Denmark.

    Danish prosecutors at the time however refused to charge the newspaper’s editors with blasphemy, but in February this year, the decision to charge the Quran burner was made by a regional prosecutor in Viborg, on the Jutland peninsula, and approved by the country’s attorney general.

    Attorney General Jan Reckendorff rather disingenously stated: “It is the prosecution’s view that the circumstances of the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran implies that in some cases it may be a violation of the blasphemy provision, which deals with public mockery or scorn against a religion. It is our opinion that the circumstances of this case require that it should be prosecuted in order for the courts to have the opportunity to take a position on the matter.”

    The blasphemy law since its creation in 1866, has been invoked only a handful of times, the last time dating back to 1971 when two people broadcast a song mocking Christianity. Denmark is one of only five countries in the European Union that has a blasphemy law on the books.

    The Dane who burned his own Quran in his own garden and then posted the video in a public Facebook group, “Yes to freedom, No to Islam” is facing dire consequences. He was charged in 2016 with hate speech, but the indictment was later changed to blasphemy, a decision prosecutors announced last month. A trial has been scheduled for June. If convicted, the defendant faces up to four months in prison or a fine.

    His lawyer, Rasmus Paludan, said the act of burning the Quran was in “self-defense” because “The Quran contains passages on how Mohammed’s followers must kill the infidel, ie the Danes. Therefore, it’s an act of self-defense to burn a book that in such a way incites war and violence.”

    Paludan told the New York Times in a phone interview: “Considering that it is legal to burn a Bible in Denmark, I’m surprised then that it would be guilty to burn the Quran.”

    Peter Kofod Poulsen, the Danish People’s Party spokesman for legal affairs, told Ritzau, a Danish news agency. “We have more important things to busy ourselves with in 2017 than to take people to task over burning books.”

    In Canada, meanwhile, anti-Islamophobia motions, aiming gradually to prohibit all criticism of Islam are being passed. The Ontario Provincial Parliament unanimously passed an anti-Islamophobia motion in February, calling on the legislature to “stand against all forms of hatred, hostility, prejudice, racism and intolerance; rebuke the… growing tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric and sentiments” and “condemn all forms of Islamophobia.”

    No such motions were introduced to protect Judaism or Christianity and the current one does not offer any definition, or any statistics in support of its claim that “Islamophobia” is a growing problem in Canada.

    When the Parliament of Canada passed an “anti-Islamophobia” motion on October 26, 2016, Samer Majzoub, the instigator and president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, instead of including other religions to condemn intolerance, made it his priority to intimidate and harass those who spoke out against Islamist extremism and terrorism.

    In Norway, the provision against blasphemy was abolished in 2005. A poll conducted in January showed however that 41 percent of Norwegian Muslims believe that blasphemy should be punished, while 7 percent believe that the penalty for blasphemy anywhere in the world should be punished with a death penalty.

    But in Britain, at least one man has been prosecuted and sentenced for burning the Quran, in 2011, and several arrested in 2010 and 2014.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    German secret service brand Corona critics ‘enemies of the state’

    BerlinAccording to the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which is the domestic spy agency, demonstrators in the Corona protests can no longer be clearly assigned to right-wing or left-wing extremism since they all "fundamentally reject the democratic state". The pandemic is only an excuse for rising up against the state, it claimed.

    Spain’s secret service alleged to have carried out Barcelona terror attacks

    MadridThe terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in August 2017 were planned and executed by the country’s secret service, a former senior officer in Spain’s National Police Corps maintain.

    Life insurer refuses to cover vaccine death

    ParisAn explosive case is currently being hotly debated on social media: In France, a rich, older entrepreneur from Paris is said to have died as a result of a Corona injection. Previously, he had taken out multi-million dollar life insurance policies for the benefit of his children and grandchildren, according to a media report.

    Compulsory vaccination postponed in Austria and Germany due to ‘technical problems’

    ViennaIn February and March, respectively, both Germany and Austria would have introduced compulsory vaccination against Covid-19, something that has met with massive protests. In step with the growing resistance among the populations in both countries, signals from leading politicians are now coming that what is called the "vaccination obligation" will not be introduced in February and March. Technical problems and unsustainable time planning are said to be reasons for the coercive measures being postponed.

    Germany: New record set for Monday walks against forced vaccination

    LeipzigWith 1 568 walks and demonstrations, more places in Germany took part in the Monday demonstrations than ever before. A week ago it was around 1500. And particularly noteworthy: More and more people who have been vaccinated are mingling with the critics of the measure.

    Reiner Füllmich and 50 lawyers: ‘The vaccines are designed to kill and depopulate the planet’

    Swedish journalist Jesper Johansson from Perspektiv speaks to Dr Reiner Füllmich on the coming court case against the architects of the plandemic.

    New Year’s Gift from the Spanish Government: The National Security Act

    MadridThe Spanish government has given the people a New Year's present that could hardly be more totalitarian: On December 31, 2021, the socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his colleagues published the Royal Decree (1150/2021) on the National Security Strategy. It has been in force since January 1, 2022.

    Germany’s priorities are a Queer Commissioner and female crash test dummies

    BerlinHow did Germany manage to exist for more than 70 years without a queer commissioner? Many may be forgiven for not having pondered this question, especially during a pandemic which has decimated the civil rights of a third of the population.

    Austria demotes some 3,8 million double-jabbed to ‘unvaccinated’

    ViennaThe Austrian government announced today that the validity of the “Green Passport” has been reduced to six months. This also means that all people who have had their “full vaccination” for the last six months will be relegated to an inferior civil status and become "unvaccinated".

    Macron lobs a grenade at the French, which social media explodes in his face

    ParisIt was both astounding and to be expected: the President of the Republic, in an interview with a French daily, lobbed a grenade at all French citizens, not just the unvaccinated.

    Go to archive