Danish Man Charged With Blasphemy For Burning oF Quran,
Feb 27, 2017 10:34 AM EST
A Danish man from Jutland who burned the Quran in December 2015 has been charged with blasphemy. Such charge is the first in Denmark in almost half a century.
According to The New York Times, the 42-year-old man burned the Muslim holy book in his backyard and posted a video of it on Dec. 27, 2015, to a Facebook group called "Yes to Freedom - No to Islam." Although the video did not get widespread attention at the time, the man's Facebook page that was full of critical messages concerning Islam, the Quran, refugees and women did not go unnoticed.
The defendant, whose real name is not revealed unless convicted under the Danish law, was charged with hate speech last year. But the indictment was later changed to blasphemy, as announced by prosecutors on Wednesday.
Breitbart News said that the Quran-burning incident is the fourth time anyone has been charged with religious blasphemy in Danish history since the law was implemented, although clause 140 of Denmark's criminal code states that anyone found guilty of publicly insulting or degrading religious doctrines can be imprisoned or fined. There were two convictions in 1938 and 1946, and another charge was brought to court in 1971 but the defendant was never convicted.
Rasmus Paludan, the defendant's lawyer, claimed that his client had burned the Quran as an act of self-defense, asserting that the Islamic holy book contained passages on how Mohammed's followers must kill the infidel. "It's an act of self-defense to burn a book that in such a way that incites war and violence," he told The New York Times.
Jan Reckendorff, the regional prosecutor who has previously worked on a similar charge said in a statement, "It is the prosecution's view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran can in certain cases be a violation of the blasphemy clause." A trial has been scheduled in June, and if convicted, the defendant will be faced with four months' imprisonment or a fine.