Al-Azhar welcomes Danish parliament’s law criminalizing burning Quran

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Dec 2023

Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the world’s leading Sunni Islamic institution, has welcomed the recently passed law by the Danish Parliament that criminalizes the burning of the Holy Quran — an incident that has recently occurred repeatedly in the West, including Denmark.

Ahmed El-Tayyeb
The Grand Imam of Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb.

 

In a statement on Saturday, Al-Azhar hailed the step as “commendable and appreciated”, adding that it would put an end to attempts to infringe upon and attack the sanctities of Muslims.

It also views the law as a step towards reducing the intensity of anti-Muslim hate speech and therefore promotes citizenship, societal peace, and world peace, added the statement.

Al-Azhar expressed its hope that the move would encourage other European countries that have witnessed similar incidents to enact legislation that prohibits the insulting of religions and religious sanctities.

Recently, Denmark and Sweden have been a spot for protests that witnessed burnings of copies of the Quran, the most notable of which took place in July in front of Muslim and Arab diplomatic missions in Denmark.

The incidents escalated tensions with Arab and Muslim countries that called for action against religious hatred.

In protest of the acts, Egypt summoned the Danish ambassador to Egypt the chargé d’affaires at the Swedish Embassy in Cairo. Other Arab countries also followed suit.

Denmark itself condemned the burnings as "provocative and shameful acts". However, it stated that it did not have the power to ban non-violent demonstrators.

On Thursday, the Danish parliament passed a law that criminalises the "inappropriate treatment of writings with significant importance for a recognized religious community."

The bill received 94 votes in favour versus 77 votes against in the 179-member parliament, also known as the Folketing.

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