A 42yr old man from Denmark has been charged with blasphemy after he allegedly burned a copy of the Koran and posted a video of the incident on an anti-Muslim Facebook page. He posted the clip, entitled ‘Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns’ to a group called ‘Yes to Freedom, No to Islam’.
The charge carries a sentence of imprisonment for up to four months or a fine. Prosecutor Jan Reckendorff said it was the first time since 1971 that a person was charged for ‘publicly mocking a religious community’s religious doctrines or worship.’ Speaking from the public prosecutor’s office, he said: ‘It is the prosecution’s view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran can in some cases be a violation of the blasphemy clause, which covers public scorn or mockery of religion.
‘It is our opinion that the circumstances of this case mean it should be prosecuted so the courts now have an opportunity to take a position on the matter.’ In Denmark, publicly insulting or degrading religious books is punishable with imprisonment or fines under clause 140 of the country’s penal code. The last time a prosecution was brought was in 1971 when two producers for Denmark Radio were arraigned after airing a song mocking Christianity. They were later acquitted.