In recent months, the Koran has been burned several times in Sweden. However, a poll by Aftonbladet/Demoskop shows that every second Swede (51 percent) believes that it should not be legal.
“This has sparked a discussion about whether it’s within the scope of Swedish freedom of speech, whether it’s reasonable or not,” says Karin Nelsson, CEO of Demoskop.
Many of those who believe that burning the Quran should be illegal say that criticism of religion should be allowed, but burning the Quran only serves to provoke and insult.
Others argue that the act itself, especially when done near a mosque, is a clear challenge and oversteps boundaries.
37 percent instead believe that burning the Quran should be legal, but some find such an act problematic.
“Even those who think it (burning the Quran) should be allowed see it as an extreme. They see it as a violation. For many, the question may not be as simple as allowing or banning it,” says Karin Nelsson, CEO of Demoskop.
The survey shows a significant difference between men and women.
Among men, the number of supporters for allowing and banning the burning of the Quran is about the same. Among women, however, the number who support a ban (58%) is more than double the number who support allowing it (26%).
“It is also interesting to look at the age of the respondents. Among the youngest, half think it should be illegal. But among pensioners, only 22 percent believe it falls within the scope of Swedish freedom of speech.”
In other notable news, a 29-year-old activist named Lukas, who had previously applied to burn the Koran (again), changed his mind after Turkey agreed to Sweden’s NATO membership. He will now burn the NATO charter instead. In fact, the activist admitted that he wanted to burn the Koran to prevent Sweden from joining NATO, but after Turkey’s agreement, it no longer makes sense.