A protester holds a copy of the Koran as they attend a protest against Sweden in front of the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, Turkey, 30 July 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/SEDAT SUNA

Denmark extends border controls amid tensions over Quran burning

Copenhagen, Aug 9 (EFE).- Denmark has extended its tighter border control measures by a week against escalating security threats following a series of Quran burning incidents in recent months in the country, the justice ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry said that national police “has found it necessary to maintain the temporarily intensified efforts at the internal Danish borders,” based on recommendation from the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET).

Initially introduced on August 3 for a week, the random border controls with Sweden and Germany will now remain in effect until Aug. 17.

“The recent burnings of the Quran have an impact on the current threat level. We are in a serious situation, where we still need tighter controls at the Danish borders in order to counter the threats that Denmark faces,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said in a statement.

This measure comes after a series of incidents in which copies of the holy book of Islam were either burned or desecrated by anti-Islam protestors in both Denmark and Sweden over the past few months.

Last week, Sweden also announced having intensified border controls over similar security concerns.

Both Nordic countries are mulling the possibility of banning Quran-burning protests and gatherings within their respective territories, despite facing criticism from opposition parties.

In recent weeks, several copies of the Muslim holy book were burned in front of the Iraqi and Egyptian embassies in Stockholm and Copenhagen, sparking anger among Muslims around the world.

Furthermore, this has led to unprecedented diplomatic tensions between Muslim nations and the Scandinavian countries.

Besides sparking large-scale protests in Yemen and Iraq – where the Swedish embassy was set ablaze -, several governments of Muslim-majority countries have raised concerns that permitting the burning of Quran could jeopardize diplomatic ties.

In particular, Iraq expelled Sweden’s ambassador from Baghdad and threatened to terminate the contracts of Swedish companies operating within the country. EFE