Per Husted, who is the vice-chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee in the Folketing (the Danish Parliament), believes that merely banning Quran burnings in front of embassies is not enough. He also wants to ban Muhammad cartoons. Husted argues that this would strengthen unity internally in Denmark and garner support from Muslim countries for the war in Ukraine.

In an interview with the media outlet Kontrast, he says that it should be forbidden to draw the Prophet Muhammad if the purpose is simply to offend Muslims.

“I cannot see the point of provoking just for the sake of provoking,” he tells DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation).

How will Husted determine the purpose of a cartoon? Husted takes the same position as Abu Laban and Tøger Seidenfaden did in 2006.

Husted has a utilitarian view of freedom of speech, something that can be manipulated and regulated.

Why is it necessary to prohibit drawings of Muhammad?

“We create unnecessary conflicts that hinder the resolution of our common challenges. We have a war in Europe, so we should stand together, including with Muslim countries. Now, we are creating problems that risk undermining the possibility of resolving the conflict in Ukraine,” says Per Husted, who is the vice-chairman of the Folketing’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

But who decides what is offensive; should it be Muslims who decide?

Who decides if something is offensive?

“It’s an enormously difficult question. Ultimately, it’s an impossible discussion, but I think we should look to the blasphemy clause for inspiration so that a boundary can be set. The blasphemy clause worked well, but the Social Democrats were the only party that wanted to keep it (when it was abolished in 2017),” says Per Husted.

There are others in the Social Democrats who vehemently disagree with Husted and do not want any restrictions on freedom of speech. But he is floating a trial balloon.

Mette Frederiksen has been strangely quiet in the debate on freedom of speech and Quran burnings.


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