Denmark Revokes 334-year-old Blasphemy Law
Danish lawmakers on Friday repealed a centuries-old blasphemy law which forbid public insults of a religion.
In this file photo, Danish flags are pictured outside a cafe at the famous landmark Nyhavn in Copenhagen. (Photo: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer)
Stockholm: Danish lawmakers on Friday repealed a centuries-old blasphemy law which forbid public insults of a religion, such as the burning of holy books like the Quran, cementing the country's attachment to freedom of expression.
Only a handful of blasphemy trials have taken place in the past 80 years, and several high-profile cases have been dropped, including the caricature of the prophet Mohammed published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.
Predominantly Lutheran but also fiercely secular, Denmark was the only Scandinavian nation with a blasphemy law, which called for up to four months in prison upon conviction, but also just fines in many cases.
Lawmakers who wanted to repeal the law introduced in 1683 "do not believe that there should be special rules protecting religions against expressions", the parliament said on its website.
But remarks and acts that threaten or demean certain groups of people because of their religious beliefs will still be punishable.
"Religion should not dictate what is allowed and what is forbidden to say publicly," Bruno Jerup, an MP who proposed to repeal the law, was quoted as saying by Jyllands-Posten. "It gives religion a totally unfair priority in society," he said.
A Danish man who filmed himself burning the Koran and posted the video to Facebook in 2015 was to face a blasphemy trial next week, but the case was dropped after the law was revoked.
In 1938, four people were convicted for hanging posters with anti-Semitic writing.
In 1946, two people were fined for conducting a baptism during a masked ball, and in 1971, two public radio officials were convicted for broadcasting a song about a woman's sexuality and her refusal of any divine moral figure.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Inspired by 50s Puppet Show or Just for Appeal? Internet is Wondering What 'Howdy Modi' Means
- Salman Khan Miffed with Ranbir Kapoor's Tentative Film's Title Devil?
- Google For India: Understanding Google Pay Virtual Tokenized Cards For Secure Payments
- Unidentified, Decomposed Body Found at Nagarjuna's Farmhouse in Telangana
- OnePlus 7T With Round Triple-Camera Module Revealed in Official Press Image