Swedes who want a ban to be introduced for burning the Quran and other holy books have increased to 53%, two points higher than the previous poll.
But according to Swedish opinion poll company SIFO, some 37% are still in favour of burning holy books “within the scope of freedom of expression,” while the remaining did not express an opinion.
The survey was conducted with 1,291 randomly selected Swedish nationals between August 15-27.
The poll comes as the government and the main opposition are preparing to change the law on provocations against the Quran.
The Swedish government announced earlier this month that it was reviewing the Public Order Law to prevent increasing attacks on the Quran in the country.
Minister of Justice Gunnar Strommer said at a news conference that a report on the law will be submitted to parliament by July 1, 2024 at the latest.
Magdalena Andersson, head of the main opposition Social Democratic Party, also stated that they were investigating an amendment to the Public Order Law, stating that provocations of burning the Holy Quran in the country could constitute a “hate crime.”
Denmark is also proposing a law banning desecration of holy books. Danish Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said at a press conference last week that they would soon submit a bill banning attacks on holy books.
Hummelgaard said the sole purpose of attacks on holy books was “to create hatred and sow discord” and that the bill in question would be combined with the law that currently prohibits the burning of country flags.
“This law will punish those who burn the Quran and the Bible in public spaces. This law will only target actions taken in public spaces or for the purpose of disseminating them to a wider environment.”
The proposal is expected to be presented to the 179-seat parliament in September and voted on in October following parliamentary consultations.
Sweden’s image tarnished
Meanwhile, Sweden’s counter-terrorism chief warned on Thursday that the country’s image has changed after the repeated Quran burnings in Stockholm.
Fredrik Hallstrom said at a news conference that Sweden will probably “live with it for a time and we have to survive with that image,” reported the N WORLD media outlet.
The Nordic country raised its terror threat level to high after Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said Sweden had become a “prioritised target” for extremists.
Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer also warned that the security situation is very bleak, according to media reports. The country will “live with this higher threat for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Sweden has been widely condemned, especially by the Muslim world, for allowing Quran desecration to take place under the pretext of free speech.
The Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) earlier this month urged member states to apply appropriate political and economic measures on Sweden and other countries where the Muslim holy book is allowed to be burned.
The OIC warned it is necessary to put a stop to the act which is characterised as an “act of aggression that spreads hatred and contempt for religions and threatens global peace, security and harmony.”
In recent months, the burnings took place outside Sweden’s parliament, Stockholm’s main mosque and the Turkish and Iraqi embassies.