Blasphemy – the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things
A man in Denmark has been charged for blasphemy after burning a Qur’an on Facebook and posting the comment: “Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns” to a group called “YES TO FREEDOM – NO TO ISLAM” in December 2015.
The public prosecutor who has brought this case says:
“It is the prosecution’s view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran can in some cases be a violation of the blasphemy clause, which covers public scorn or mockery of religion.
“It is our opinion that the circumstances of this case mean it should be prosecuted so the courts now have an opportunity to take a position on the matter.”
In the UK this sort of crime often comes under hate crime as an offence against religion.
- Religious offence – this is where you break religious rules. An example would be breaking the Ten Commandments. For example, ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain’, which is blasphemy. Someone might say ‘Oh my God’ without really talking about God. Some religious offences are against the law, such as ‘Thou shall not murder’, but some are not, such as ‘thou shall not commit adultery’.
In the example in Denmark it also seems to appear to be an example of Islamophobia.