Islamabad, 26 August 2023 (TDI): The Foreign Office of Pakistan has released a statement regarding the Danish Government’s proposal of a bill to outlaw the burning of the Holy Quran on Saturday.

According to the provided statement, Pakistan appreciates the Danish Government’s reported intention to introduce legislation that would make the burning of the Holy Quran and other sacred books illegal.

This action, in the view of Pakistan, represents progress in the correct direction.

Pakistan has consistently asserted that the defilement and incineration of Holy Scriptures constitute a grave manifestation of religious animosity, a matter that should not be allowed under the pretext of freedom of speech, viewpoint, or demonstration.

Pakistan expresses the aspiration that Denmark’s current action will lead to the establishment of impactful laws aimed at preventing the disrespect of the Holy Quran and other sacred books.

During his conversation with the Danish Foreign Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani conveyed his gratitude for the Danish Government’s anticipated legislative initiative.

He also conveyed his aspiration that once the bill is enacted, it would foster religious concord among various faiths and contribute to the cessation of an atmosphere characterized by animosity among individuals of diverse religious beliefs.

On the other side, under the newly proposed legislation by the Danish Government, setting fire to a Quran would result in potential penalties such as fines or a maximum imprisonment of two years.

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Peter Hummelgaard, the Minister of Justice, clarified that the intention behind the proposed law is to incorporate it into the existing regulation that presently prohibits the disrespect of flags of other nations.

The proposed legislation would establish a criminal offence for the public burning of the Muslim Holy Book, the Bible, or the Torah.

However, the timing for presenting the proposal to the 179-seat Danish Parliament remains uncertain.

Recent Quran burnings in Denmark and Sweden

During the past few months, there have been instances of far-right demonstrators and individuals promoting Islamophobia burning multiple copies of the Quran in Denmark and its neighbouring country, Sweden.

In 2017, Denmark, which ranks among the most secular nations globally, abolished its laws about blasphemy.

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Sweden similarly lacks any existing laws related to blasphemy.

The controversial actions, deemed offensive within the Muslim community, have caused distress in various nations, prompting calls for European governments to adopt more stringent measures and deter such occurrences.