Denmark's parliament approved legislation on Thursday prohibiting the burning of holy books, including the Quran, in public places.
The bill, which criminalizes the "inappropriate treatment" of significant religious texts, was passed with 94 votes in favor and 77 in opposition within the 179-seat Folketing.
There are multiple civilized ways to express opinions outside of the burning of holy books. People desecrating the Quran as a protest only want to provoke violence and harm Denmark's international reputation and interests. This new law balances the Nordic nation's deep-rooted commitment to free speech with the protection of Danish national security.
This law will only have a marginal impact, as criticizing religion in other ways — including through works of art where a minor part consists of desecration — remains legal. The legislation is simply a product of "political correctness,” designed to restrain the freedom of speech.
Though burning holy texts, including the Quran, is an unsavory act, it's a slippery slope between protecting marginalized groups and infringing upon freedom of speech. Europe doesn't possess blasphemy laws for a reason; Europe must continue to facilitate a free society, and allow residents to exercise their constitutional rights.
There's a 50% chance that at least 20% of the global population will identify as "religiously unaffiliated" in 2050, according to the Metaculus prediction community.