This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A top constitutional expert who has testified before Congress on multiple issues, and has represented members in court, is warning that a Western country, long an ally of the United States, is beginning to resurrect its blasphemy laws.
The expert is George Washington University scholar Jonathan Turley, who in a commentary takes to task Denmark for its agenda to outlaw certain actions that could insult Islam or Christianity.
It is Islam itself, of course, that makes any insult to the Quran or Muhammad a capital offense, a position that Christianity has not and does not take.
Turley explained, "In 2017, Denmark took a historic step in favor of free speech by rescinding its blasphemy law after 334 years. For those of us in the free speech community, it was an important moment in Europe where free speech is being rapidly reduced."
But, he explained, "The liberal government is moving to reinstate the blasphemy crime with a new law barring the burning of the Quran, the Bible, and other religious texts."
He said the country already has implemented an "abusive" law that makes criminal other "insults" to foreign interests, such as flag burnings.
That is the law, he said, that now "will be extended to religious books."
"Minister of Justice Peter Hummelgaard adopted the same thread-worn rationalizations to curtail free speech. He simply dismissed that burning such books is free speech, dismissing such protests as 'meaningless insults which have no other purpose than to create discord and hatred.' Speech crimes are often pushed by those who disagree with the content of opposing speech as 'meaningless,'" Turley explained.
He noted that despite the growing anti-free speech movement in the United States, the Constitution still protects such protests, including the burning of the American flag.
That comes from the 1989 Texas case in which both liberals and conservatives joined.
In fact, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the longtime liberal now retired, said, "For we are presented with a clear and simple statute to be judged against a pure command of the Constitution. The outcome can be laid at no door but ours. The hard fact is that sometimes we must make decisions we do not like. We make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result. And so great is our commitment to the process that, except in the rare case, we do not pause to express distaste for the result, perhaps for fear of undermining a valued principle that dictates the decision. This is one of those rare cases."
He continued, "Though symbols often are what we ourselves make of them, the flag is constant in expressing beliefs Americans share, beliefs in law and peace and that freedom which sustains the human spirit. The case here today forces recognition of the costs to which those beliefs commit us. It is poignant but fundamental that the flag protects those who hold it in contempt."
Turley said the act of burning a religious book or symbol is "reprehensible, but they are clearly conveying a political or religious viewpoint."
Now Denmark is "embracing a new age of censorship and speech criminalization."