Burning of books

The recent frenzy of burning the Quran in Sweden prompts me to express my views. Specifically, I'd like to discuss the possibility of a law in Sweden that forbids burning certain books in public for political statements. Note that i am partial.

We must determine which books should be protected, and it's sensible to include artifacts from the largest religious communities in the world. Of course, defining what qualifies could be complex, but the main benefit of the law is that it communicates our good intentions and may provide a reprieve in the ongoing attacks on religious people in Sweden. In my view, the negative consequences are minor, with the main drawback being restrictions on expression.

First of all, I do not see this as a serious attack on free speech. Many countries have rules against burning religious artifacts. While some argue this limits the ability to protest a religion, alternatives like drawing a burning Quran or Bible can still convey the message without as much anger or danger.

Current demonstrations in Sweden have stirred such hate that safety concerns arise for Swedes abroad. A law like the one proposed could have several benefits:

  • Protection for Swedish Citizens Abroad: Additional protection required may otherwise result in lost orders or lower profits for companies.

  • International Respect: This aligns our legal stance with our public condemnations, possibly earning respect.

It's my understanding that very few Swedes would oppose this law if communicated well. It's mainly fringe groups engaging in book burning. Introducing this law could begin to repair our image and clarify our intentions.

In practice, a law may not stop right-wing groups from stirring up anger, but it could make their goal harder to achieve. By actively countering this act, we can buy time to develop a more comprehensive approach to this complex issue.

Our intentions are reasonable to question, given Sweden's political landscape. But if we enact a law, others may see our good intentions more clearly. This could create momentum in understanding our stance, especially if there's a history of goodwill.

In principle, those (that matters to me) I discuss this with don't see a ban as a complex issue. There will always be opposing views, but the public opinion may agree.

With the proposed law, some may fear government interference, thinking it a step in an unwanted direction. Others are tired of losing money and peace because of these acts. Thoughtful articles by experts could alleviate these fears of loosing free speech.

In conclusion, the benefits of a law against book burning are high, and the risks and downsides are low and can be mitigated with clear communication. This is not just about restricting an act but taking a stance that reflects our values, builds trust, and promotes a safer and more respectful society.