A Danish man finds himself in hot water for blasphemy. He is being prosecuted (persecuted?) under an old Danish blasphemy law that was still on the books, but had not been used to prosecute (persecute) someone since 1946.
Many Danes support the law, though, because they see it as a compromise between two values: freedom of speech and multiculturalism. Both they hold dear. But unfortunately, keeping the peace, at least to the Danes, takes precedence over freedom of speech.
The defendant’s lawyer makes a valid point, ““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.””
Many apologists will argue that such passages cannot be interpreted except through careful, expert exegesis, because they can otherwise be so easily taken out of context by the layman. For example, Quran 61:9 says, “He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist.” This could obviously be interpreted to mean, “Islam is a religion of peace”, or it could also be interpreted to mean, “Islam is a religion that may often manifest in violence.” It’s all open to interpretation (resist could mean, “consent” or “comply”), so we’d be lost without the experts.
In like fashion, the burning of a holy book could be interpreted to mean “open hostility towards a people”, or it could also be interpreted as a genuine embrace of freedom over the asphyxiating proscriptions of group dogma. Who knows?