Muzzies living in Norway are jumping for joy today. Their cause has just been eased significantly. From, of all places, the NYT:
A 42-year-old man who burned a Quran and posted a video of it on Facebook has been charged with blasphemy in Denmark, a striking decision by prosecutors in a country that is largely secular but has grappled with the role of Islam in public life.
The decision stunned many Danes: No one has been convicted of blasphemy in Denmark since 1946, and the country has a long tradition of free speech; burning the flag is not a punishable crime.
What, besides ever-present Political Correctness, might be motivating the Prosecutor in the case? Perhaps it’s the self-flagellation characteristic of self-imposed dhimmitude:
Simmering tensions between religious sensitivities and free speech have been a theme in Denmark since 2005, when the newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The depictions outraged many Muslims, who consider such representations to be blasphemous.
The controversy led to deadly riots, attacks on Danish embassies in the Middle East and a trade boycott against Denmark. But Danish prosecutors at the time refused to charge the newspaper’s editors with blasphemy.
To put this recent legal charge into context:
The blasphemy law has been invoked only a handful of times since its creation in 1866, most recently in 1971, when two people broadcast a song mocking Christianity and stirred a debate over female sexuality. They were acquitted.
No one has been convicted of the crime since 1946, when a man dressed himself up as a priest and mock-baptized a doll at a masquerade ball.
In the current case, the suspect, who was not identified by the authorities but called himself John Salvesen on Facebook, uploaded video footage of a Quran being burned in his backyard. In the 4-minute, 15-second clip, the clicking sounds of a lighter are heard before flames engulf the large leather-bound book.
Salvesen’s attorney responds:
His lawyer, Rasmus Paludan, argued that his client had burned the Quran in “self-defense.”
“The Quran contains passages on how Mohammed’s followers must kill the infidel, i.e. the Danes,” he said. “Therefore, it’s an act of self-defense to burn a book that in such a way incites war and violence.”
Mr. Paludan also noted that in 1997, a Danish artist burned a copy of the Bible on a news show by a state broadcaster but was not charged. “Considering that it is legal to burn a Bible in Denmark, I’m surprised then that it would be guilty to burn the Quran,” he said in a phone interview.
While we have leftwing groups like the ACLU representing a rather selective enforcement of ‘civil liberties’, at least Denmark has some groups standing up for rationality:
Jacob Mchangama, director of Justitia, a Danish civil liberties group, called the decision to file charges the latest sign of a declining respect for free speech in Europe. “It’s a sad development but one that mirrors developments elsewhere,” he said.
Mr. Mchangama said he thought the prosecutor was motivated by a desire to fend off the threat of terrorist attacks. “Danish authorities are afraid that the Quran burning could spark a new crisis, and if they say that they’ve actually charged this person, this is a way to appease or at least avoid such a crisis,” he said.
It’s called Stockholm Syndrome.