Quran burning protests
Iraqi protesters in Baghdad carry copies of the Koran to denounce the latest desecration of the holy book in Sweden. Image: AFP / Ahmad AL-RUBAYE

The Danish government may be looking at some legal means to ban protests that involve burning copies of the Quran.

The development comes days after the desecration of the Holy Quran at protests held in Denmark and Sweden. The incident caused wide outrage across the world, forcing Scandinavian countries to rethink their rules and regulations. The two countries received global condemnation after the incidents came to light.

"The burnings are deeply offensive and reckless acts committed by few individuals. These few individuals do not represent the values the Danish society is built on," said Denmark's Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

"The Danish government will therefore explore the possibility of intervening in special situations where, for instance, other countries, cultures, and religions are being insulted, and where this could have significant negative consequences for Denmark, not least with regard to security," added the minister.

Sweden is also looking at similar legal tools after protesters in Iraq stormed its embassy in response to the desecration of the Muslim holy book.

The incident has not only negatively affected its image but has also worsened the security situation in the country. Sweden even had to evacuate its embassy in Baghdad after the Swedish police gave permission to an Iraqi Christian refugee to destroy a Quran for the second time in Stockholm.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson went on to describe the situation as the "most serious security policy situation since the Second World War."

It is said that the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad in 610 CE on the occasion known as Laylat al-Qadr, frequently translated as "the Night of Power." And burning of the book is considered deeply offensive by the Muslim community.

What's the matter?

This comes after far-right activists held demonstrations in front of the Iraqi, Egyptian, and Turkish embassies in Copenhagen. Copies of the Quran were burnt at these protests held over the past week.

In Sweden, a man tore up and burned a copy of the Holy Quran outside Stockholm's central mosque on June 28, on the auspicious Eid al-Adha holiday.

The incidents sparked public outrage, and several countries, including Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, and the European Union, condemned the act, according to a report in BBC.

This was not the first time that such an incident was reported in Sweden. The country has seen attacks on several Muslim institutions over the years. In 2016, an Arab school was set on fire by unknown perpetrators in the Swedish city of Malmo.

Saudi Arabia even summoned the Swedish charge d'affaires to condemn the burning of the Quran. Morocco has recalled its ambassador as a sign of protest against the burning of the Holy Quran.

In 2021, a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief found that Islamophobia had risen to "epidemic proportions."

The report highlighted how Muslims are facing increased restrictions in several countries. At least 11 states in Europe, Africa, and South Asia have imposed bans on women wearing hijab or burqas in public.

It also revealed that British Muslim women are 71 percent more likely to be unemployed than white Christian women, despite having the same educational level and language skills.

According to a study conducted by the Muslim Engagement and Development Group (MEND) in the UK, almost half of mosques across the UK have been attacked in the last three years. The researchers studied data from over 100 mosques across the country and found that there has been an increase in Islamophobic hate crimes in the UK as well.

According to the European Islamophobia Report 2021, Islamophobia is becoming a growing threat in several European countries. It blamed it on countries that have "institutionalised it" by adopting policies that encourage Islamophobia. The report has been published every year since 2015 by a consortium of civil society NGOs.