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Quran burnings: Wary of backlash, Denmark beefs up borders to boost security

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This picture shows Danish Police checking vehicles as they enter the country. — Reuters/Filee
  • Decision comes after similar unholy incident in Sweden.
  • Denmark, Sweden fearing revenge after anti-Islam activities. 
  • Travellers coming from Sweden should also expect checks.

After consecutive incidents of Quran desecration that instigated tensions within the country, Denmark’s government said Friday it was taking steps to boost its domestic security and bar unwanted individuals from entering its territory.

The decision comes days after a similar unholy incident in Sweden.

Officials in Denmark are fearing retaliation and revenge after anti-Islam activists in the country and Sweden desecrated and damaged several copies of the Holy Quran in recent months, sparking a fierce backlash from the Muslim world with demands on banning such acts.

“Authorities have today concluded that it is necessary at this time to increase the focus on who is entering Denmark, in order to respond to the specific and current threats,” the Danish justice ministry said in a statement late Thursday.

Passengers arriving at Copenhagen Airport, even from within Europe’s free-movement Schengen area, will face greater scrutiny in the form of random checks, police said.

Travellers coming from Sweden by train or car should also expect more checks, while Denmark’s southern border with Germany will see an increase in patrols.

A small group of Danish far-right activists has burned at least ten copies of the Quran in the past week and said it plans to desecrate more at two demonstrations Friday and at three more events over the weekend.

The Danish and Swedish governments have condemned the burnings and are considering new laws that could stop them.

However, according to domestic critics, any such decisions would undermine the freedom of speech that is protected in their constitutions.

Denmark’s tighter border controls will initially be in place until August 10.

“The recent [Quran] burnings have, as the security police have said, affected the current security situation,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said.

The decision to tighten border controls follows a similar move by Sweden.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen late Thursday said religious texts should not be burned.

“I think it would be wrong if someone stood there and burned the Bible. I also don’t think we should burn the Torah for the sake of those who belong to the Jewish faith,” Frederiksen told broadcaster DR.



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