Danes want to ban Bible burning as well


Northern Europe


Shiite Muslims protest against the burning of the Koran outside a Stockholm mosque that outraged Muslims around the world. Photo AFP, Tauseef Mustafa

A ban on Quran burnings should also apply to the desecration of Bibles, a large majority of Danes believe.

Because of equality before the law, burning Bibles should become just as illegal as burning Qurans if a ban makes it through the legislative process. That is the opinion of most Danes as shown by a survey of Kristeligt Dagblad.

Almost 75 per cent of the 1,000 participants indicated that the burning ban should apply to other religious scriptures as well. In total, 62 per cent agreed completely, while 11 per cent partially agreed.


Danes attach much value to equality, sociologist of religion Brian Arly Jacobsen from the University of Copenhagen explains to Kristeligt Dagblad. “When three out of four equate the Bible with the Quran, it is hardly based on theological consideration”, he says. “The results of the survey probably have more to do with the current political situation. And not least with emotions.”

Mogens Mogensen, who holds a Ph.D. in intercultural studies, also believes that a book-burning ban should also apply to the Bible. He emphasises that the big difference between Islam and Christianity is that the first see their scriptures as inviolable, while the latter recognises that it has been written and canonised by many contributors centuries after the crucifixion of Christ. Yet, there is no legal difference between the Bible and the Quran, Mogensen says. Therefore, he argues, the law must say that as soon as a test has meaning for a religion, it is a provocation to burn it. “The law must not make a theological assessment, but a legal assessment, and there the Bible and the Quran are juxtaposed.”

The Danish Bible Society also believes that Quran and Bible should be treated equally. General Secretary Johannes Baun points out that a specific Quran burning ban would be subject to a foreign power. “Now, we risk that, instead of a blasphemy clause, we will get a Quranic law.”



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