Burning the Quran: Religious Disrespect´-or-Freedom of Expression?

Said Elakhal
2023 / 9 / 6

Burning the Quran: Religious Disrespect´-or-Freedom of Expression?
"In Europe last year, certain acts targeting religions cannot be justified as expressions of freedom. Respecting all religions lies at the core of democracy. Governments worldwide should, therefore, enact legislation to criminalize all forms of religious insults, as opposed to protecting the perpetrators, as Sweden did in the case of the Iraqi extremist who burned and defaced the Quran while under the country s security.

This blasphemous act led to an Al-Qaeda affiliate releasing a sixty-minute video calling on Muslims in Sweden to behead the perpetrator and carry out suicide bombings against the police. Burning holy books, including the Quran, can be seen as an act of terrorism. Regardless of the religion in question, it is imperative to show respect for people s beliefs. Such acts only serve to fuel hatred and violence, giving terrorists the impression that the West is at war with Islam. However, most European countries not only allow freedom of worship for all religions but also protect their right to express their beliefs freely. It is a significant oversight by European governments to not address this issue promptly. Extremists and terrorists exploit the blurred line between opinion and Fatwa to incite hatred and terrorism. Governments must distinguish between these forms of expression, as Fatwa isn t just an opinion---;--- it s a command from Allah that obliges believers to follow it without discretion, leaving them no choice. This is why fundamentalist Fatwas pose a significant threat to societies, as they divide them into believers and unbelievers, with the latter often facing extreme consequences such as beheading according to these Fatwas.

To ensure public security, European governments must revise their laws to prevent terrorist attacks. The first step should be to criminalize takfir (declaring someone an apostate) and accusing others of apostasy. Regardless of the religion, peace and stability cannot be guaranteed if terrorists are allowed to incite hatred´-or-blasphemy without consequences."

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