A man who filmed himself burning the Quran in December in 2015 has become the first person to be charged under Denmark's blasphemy law in 46 years.
The 42-year-old recorded himself burning a copy of Islam's holy book in his back yard, and then posted the video on the anti-Islamic Facebook group 'Yes to freedom – no to Islam alongside the words, 'Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns.'
In a statement yesterday afternoon, the Danish prosecutor Jan Reckendorff announced his decision to bring charges. '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, which covers public scorn or mockery of religion,' he said.
The case marks the fourth time in Danish history that anyone has been prosecuted under Denmark's blasphemy clause. Four people were sentenced for posting posters mocking Jewish teachings in 1938; two people were fined for carrying out a fake baptism at a masked ball in 1946; and two programme leaders at Danish Radio were exonerated in 1971 for airing a song mocking Christianity, according to Danish news outlet The Local.
When the Jyllands-Posten newspaper famously published twelve cartoons in 2006 picturing the Prophet Mohammad, Danish prosecutors famously declined to invoke the country's blasphemy laws in 2006.