The Grand Mosque of Copenhagen, Denmark Source: WikiMedia

A Danish man, identified on Facebook as John Salvesen, burned the Quran in 2015, and is now being charged with blasphemy - the first case in the country since 1971.

The 42-year-old man not only burned the holy book, but uploaded the footage on the Facebook group "Yes to Freedom — No to Islam" with a caption that read: 

"Consider your neighbor, it stinks when it burns," according to the New York Times

The man's official name has not yet been released, as Danish law requires a public announcement of names only after a person has been convicted. 

When the video began making the rounds online, Salvesen was charged with hate speech. The charge was later changed to blasphemy, a decision prosecutors took on Wednesday. 

His lawyer Rasmus Paludan said his client burned the Quran in "self defense."

"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."

A trial has been scheduled for June.

In Denmark, burning holy books including the Quran and the Bible is considered a violation of the penal code that deals with "religious scorn and public mockery," according to The IndependentThe country does not consider the burning of the flag a punishable crime. 

This would be the fourth time anyone has been prosecuted since the law was implemented in the country in 1866. 

Only two of those charged were actually convicted.  The last crime in which the people received a sentence occurred in 1946 - when two men dressed as priests acted out a "baptism" during a masquerade ball in Copenhagen. 

The last case happened in 1971, when two Denmark Radio producers aired a song mocking Christianity. 

In 1938, four people were sentenced for putting up posters and leaflets that mocked Jewish teachings. 

Salvesen's lawyer brought up an incident in 1997 when a Danish artist burned a copy of the Bible on TV - but was not charged. 

"Considering that it is legal to burn a Bible in Denmark, I’m surprised then that it would be guilty to burn the Quran," he told the New York Times

Denmark is one of five countries in the European Union that has a blasphemy law on holy books.