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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Denmark - January 2023

Quran burned in Copenhagen

Following the Quran-burning protest in Sweden, the Danish-Swedish far-right activist, Rasmus Paludan, replicated the stunt in three separate locations, including in front of the Turkish Embassy (Turkey is obstructing Sweden’s membership in NATO) and a mosque in Copenhagen. He said he will continue every Friday until Sweden is admitted to NATO. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe has highlighted the Social Rights and Equality environment and the “ghetto policy” as concerning in their report. Paludan’s actions sparked strong reactions by the Turkish authorities as well, who described it as a hate crime that provokes racist, xenophobic and anti-Muslim attacks. The Danish ambassador was summoned in Istanbul, and according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, Turkey expects the permission to be revoked. Paludan established far-right parties in both Denmark and Sweden, but failed to win any seats. In a survey, more than half of Danes responded they were in favour of banning Paludan’s Quran-burning protests due to national security concerns.

Sources: Al Jazeera, VoA, Anadolu Agency, Dagsavisen, The Local Denmark (1), The Local Denmark (2), Voxmeter, ECRI Council of Europe

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Civil liberties
Freedom of Association and Assembly
Freedom of Expression
Freedom of Religion
Political equality
Social Group Equality