Lars Lokke Rasmussen has said that attacks against the Muslim holy book only sow division
Denmark will look for a legal mechanism to stop the public burning of the Quran, which has caused protests and fury across the Muslim world, Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Sunday.
“We must find a legal tool that would allow us to prevent the Quran burning in front of foreign embassies in Denmark,” Rasmussem told public broadcaster DR, adding that such stunts “only serve the purpose of creating division.”
“That is why we have decided in the government that we will look at how, in very special situations, we can put an end to mockery of other countries, which is in direct conflict with Danish interests and the safety of the Danish people,” the minister stressed.
Rasmussen added that there must be “room for religious criticism” and that the government was not planning to introduce a blasphemy law.
The Danish leader’s statement came after the prime minister of neighboring Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, said that he was “extremely worried” that similar attacks against the Quran would lead to disturbances in his country.
Both Denmark and Sweden have faced backlash due to a string of incidents, in which activists burned or otherwise desecrated copies of the Quran. The burning sparked protests and condemnation across the Muslim world. On July 20, an angry crowd stormed the Swedish Embassy in Baghdad, setting parts of the building on fire.
Russia also condemned attacks against the Muslim holy book, with President Vladimir Putin describing the acts as hate crimes.
The authorities in Sweden and Denmark have denounced the burnings of the Quran, but insisted that such actions were protected under the freedom of expression.