Quran Burning and Religious Hatred: A Comparison of American, International, and European Approaches to Freedom of Speech


This Note examines the legal ramifications of Quran burning both in the United States and abroad, locating the recent international trend of Quran burning within the context of the new realities in the world after 9/11. With the rise of terrorism, an increasingly vitriolic and polarized political dialogue, and the ever-increasing ubiquity of the Internet, the profile of these issues will continue to grow.

The public burning of Qurans highlights some of the more controversial aspects of the American First Amendment as well as suggests the true dangers of the European limitations on free speech. The significant risks the United States assumes when it allows controversial speech are still less than the grave risks people could otherwise take when the state is allowed to decide what is acceptable speech, like in the European model.


freedom of speech, quran, koran



Catherine B. Holmes (Washington University School of Law)



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