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Denmark to tighten border control after Koran burnings

People demonstrate against the desecration of the Koran in Denmark, in Sanaa

People demonstrate against the desecration of the Koran in Denmark, in Sanaa, Yemen July 24, 2023. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo

OSLO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Danish police are tightening border controls following recent burnings of the Koran that have affected the security situation, the justice ministry said late on Thursday, following a similar decision by Sweden earlier in the week.

Anti-Islam activists in Denmark and Sweden have burned and damaged several copies of the Muslim holy book in recent months, inciting outrage in the Muslim world and demands that governments ban 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 ministry said in a statement.

Tighter border controls will initially be in place until Aug. 10, it said.

“The recent Koran burnings have, as the security police have said, affected the current security situation,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said in the statement.

The decision to tighten border controls with more checks of travellers arriving in Denmark follows a similar move by Sweden.

Both governments have condemned the burnings and said they are considering new laws that could stop them. But domestic critics say any such decisions would undermine freedom of speech that is protected in their constitutions.

Muslims view the Koran as the literal word of God and actual or alleged desecration of the holy book often sparks protests in the Muslim world.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Tom Hogue, Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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