Denmark still largely in support of ‘blasphemy’ law

A recent survey has shown that Danish citizens still largely back the country’s ‘blasphemy’ law. The law, which makes it illegal to “mock legal religions and faiths in Denmark”, is supported by around 66 percent of Danish voters, according to a recent survey conducted by the liberal group CEPOS.

Speaking about the report, religious expert Tim Jensen from the University of Southern Denmark said, “Danes may see the blasphemy law as helping integration because it promotes the acceptance of a multicultural and multi-faith society. But it can also be problematic if it reflects a belief that the feelings of religious people have a special status and require special protection,” the Berlingske news agency reports.

Meanwhile, Jacob Mchangama, legal affairs director for CEPOS, said, “Blasphemy laws legitimise a culture of offence that leads to violence and dissatisfaction in parts of the world. If Denmark is to have credibility when we criticise blasphemy laws in Pakistan, for example, or we act in disbelief toward people that react violently to a film on YouTube that is critical of Islam, then we have to repeal our own blasphemy law,” the Copenhagen Post reports.

The law remains the centre of controversy for many Danes after it was used to condemn the printing of the controversial Mohammed cartoon in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005. Immigration minister Karen Hækkerup, for example, recently chose not to attend a scheduled anti-radicalism conference so she could avoid being onstage with a top Muslim figurehead that helped to shape the law.