In Copenhagen, Denmark, a small group of far-right protesters set fire to copies of the Quran in front of the Egyptian and Turkish embassies. This anti-Islam demonstration was organised by the far-right ultra-nationalist group called Danish Patriots. Similar Quran burnings were staged by the group in front of the Iraqi embassy on Monday and last week. Comparable incidents have also occurred in neighbouring Sweden recently.
In response to the Quran burnings, Iraq’s foreign ministry urged EU countries to reconsider their stance on freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate. Turkey strongly condemned the act as a “despicable attack” on the Quran and called on Denmark to take necessary measures against this “hate crime” targeting Islam. The Egyptian foreign ministry summoned Sweden’s charge d’affaires to denounce the desecration of the Qurans.
While Denmark’s government condemned the burnings as “provocative and shameful acts,” they stated that they lack the authority to block non-violent demonstrations. Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen engaged in a constructive phone call with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein to discuss bilateral relations and the Quran burnings, reiterating Denmark’s condemnation of such acts and emphasising the importance of peaceful protests.
In Denmark, freedom of speech allows for various forms of expression, including non-violent demonstrations like the Quran burnings. University of Copenhagen law Professor Trine Baumbach explained that Danish laws encompass extended freedom of speech, permitting people to express themselves in diverse ways, even through the burning of items.
Source: Al Jazeera