Denmark's parliament on Thursday (8 December) has banned the "inappropriate treatment" of religious texts under a bill known as the Quran Bill. The newly passed law has made it illegal to burn the Quran in public places, seeking to deescalate tensions with Muslim countries after a wave of Danish protests during which Islam's holy book was burned, causing outrage.
Offenders, according to the new law, now face a fine or up to two years in jail after a 94-77 vote in favor of passing the law.
This development comes following a string of burnings of Islam's holy book, which sparked massive outrage in Muslim countries all over the world.
A number of street protests in Denmark and neighboring Sweden have lately occurred in response to such instances, creating security worries across Scandinavian region.
Many opposition MPs argued against the bill during Thursday's heated debates in Denmark's 179-member Folketing.
The Danish Democrats' leader, Inger Stojberg, was quoted by the Reuters, "History will judge us harshly for this, and with good reason... What it all comes down to is whether a restriction on freedom of speech is determined by us, or whether it is dictated from the outside."
But the country's centre-right coalition government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen argued that criticising religion would remain legal, as the bill would only have a marginal impact.
Ministers stated they wanted to send a message to the world back in August when the government was first proposing the changes, following a few weeks of 170 demonstrations, which included Quran burnings in front of foreign embassies.
At the time, Denmark's PET intelligence service warned that such incidents had increased the terrorist threat.