Today in Blasphemy

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More encouraging news from liberated Afghanistan, via the AP. Note that the journalist convicted of blaspheming the Prophet—and sentenced to death—was not, in fact, responsible for writing the supposedly offensive material, but is rather the brother of the accused:

An Afghan journalist sentenced to death for distributing an article that allegedly violated Islam is actually being punished for reporting by his brother about abuses by northern warlords, a media group said Wednesday.

Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, 23, was sentenced to death Tuesday by a three-judge panel in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for distributing a report he printed off the Internet to fellow journalism students at Balkh University.

The judges said the article humiliated Islam, and members of a clerics council had pushed for Kaambakhsh to be punished.

[…]

Reporters Without Borders called on President Hamid Karzai to intervene. The International Federation of Journalists denounced the holding of the trial in a closed session and Kaambakhsh's lack of a lawyer.

In other blasphemy news, Dutch politician Geert Wilders is attempting to find a broadcaster for his 10-minute anti-Koran film:

Mr Wilders has said his film will show how the Koran is "an inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror". The exact content of the 10-minute film is not yet known, but Mr Wilders says he will screen it on the internet if he cannot find a willing broadcaster. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said there were "major concerns at home and abroad that the film could be offensive and could lead to reactions that endanger public order, security and the economy."

The Iranian government has advised the Dutch government to prevent any screening of Wilders' film, according to government news agencies.

My interview with Jyllands-Posten culture editor Flemming Rose here.

Update: Jacob Sullum beat me to the Afghan story here

NEXT: Gillespie on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld Tonight

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  1. The judges said the article humiliated Islam, and members of a clerics council had pushed for Kaambakhsh to be punished.

    I didn’t realize Islam was so delicate.

  2. You left off the best part of the prime minister’s response:

    “The Netherlands has a tradition of freedom of speech, religion and lifestyle,” he said. “The Netherlands also has a tradition of respect, tolerance and responsibility. Unnecessarily offending certain groups does not belong here.”

    Looks like we’re finding out which ‘tradition’ is more highly valued…

  3. Unnecessarily offending certain groups does not belong here.

    At this point, I think it is quite necessary to offend certain groups, on principle.

  4. Sounds like the monkeys didn’t get their bananny-poos this morning.

  5. At this point it would be wise to make the distinction between the radicals, who are no better than the base animals, and the real citizenry of Iran, who most likely do not as a whole share the feelings of their leaders.

  6. “Mr Wilders has said his film will show how the Bible is “an inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror”.”

    Put it that way, and I can see a reason why broadcasters might shy away.

    Does it even matter anymore? Hasn’t Wilders ever heard of youtube?

  7. I WISH somebody would do such a film about the Bible.

  8. Al,

    You don’t pay much attention to the film industry, do you?

  9. the bible HAS BEEN an inspiration for intolerance, murder, and terror. It certainly is not today. The way we interpret it has changed but the words are the same. Why is that? because a book can influence a culture but probably cannot direct it. Western culture values tolerance and so we minimize the intolerant parts of the bible.
    The teachings of the Koran are not the problem in radical islam.

  10. Between the lines, what the Islamic fundies are saying is “I fear that my religion can’t stand up to criticism from non-believers”. Helluva vote of confidence there.

    I actually encourage people who disagree/dislike/despise my religion (lack thereof, actually) to criticize it in the strongest terms they feel comfortable using. Mock, decry, insult, commit blasphemy if you think it’s possible IRT atheism, whatever pops your cork. I’m comfortable and confident with my beliefs. Iranian rulers, how about you?

  11. the Koran is “an inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror”.

    “major concerns at home and abroad that the film could be offensive and could lead to reactions that endanger public order, security and the economy.”

    sooo.. the reaction is to prove the film right?

  12. J sub D, you’re a heretic and going to hell for believing in nothing. I touch my shoe to the head of your spaghetti monster, infidel dog!

  13. So is this like a sting operation? You provoke the guys who are religious nuts to violence and then arrest them? Problem solved!

  14. Why do you keep saying Iran? This is in asscrackistan (old army term).

  15. Ramsey,
    the original post had two stories, one about human rights in Afghanistan, and one about wilder’s 10 minute anit-koran movie. In the second news item, it is stated that the iranian government is pressuring the dutch to block the film’s release

  16. The teachings of the Koran are not the problem in radical islam.

    Then you haven’t read the Koran and Hadith. Perpetual war against unbelievers (of which suicide bombing is but a part) until the whole world submits to Islamic rule is mainstream Islamic theology. All four orthodox schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on this point. The “radicals” are not radical, they did not “hijack” Islam, they are not misinterpreting Islam.

  17. “More encouraging news from liberated Afghanistan, via the AP.”

    Rather than liberating Afghanistan, maybe the most we can expect is to eliminate what passes for government there as a terrorist threat to the American people.

  18. Is Allah so weak that his feelings get hurt so easily?

  19. Bob Smith,

    Two questions for you:

    Have you ever known any Muslims?

    How extensive is your study of Islam as practiced by most of the faith?

  20. Who says these kooks speak for Allah? …or Muslims everywhere?

    Sheesh!

    …I bet somewhere right now someone’s attributing the behavior of the “God hates fags” guy to Christians everywhere.

  21. I bet somewhere right now someone’s attributing the behavior of the “God hates fags” guy to Christians everywhere.

    Yeah, where is Akira, anyway?

  22. All beliefs need humiliating. Only then can we move on.
    We so need to move on.
    I salute those with the courage to humiliate any belief system issuing a fatwah. That should get first priority.

  23. I just hope Wilders doesn’t end up like Theo van Gogh.

  24. Off topic, but I asked my friend, Waki Paki, today to tell me why so many countries over there end in “stan.” He said it means “land of.” Not rocket science, eh?
    Pakistan means land of the purified or sanctified. (He was unsure of the precise word.) He pointed out that only Pakistan and Israel were established (in modern times) based on a religion.

    Then I asked why so many towns and cities end in “bad.” He said it’s the equivalent of “ville” as in Gallaherville. Again, not rocket science.
    How’d you like the sound of my town?

  25. There are some really intolerant Muslims out there, Muslims who lump all us infidels together, saying we’re all the same in some truly awful way, and then there are some really intolerant Americans out there, Americans who lump all Muslims together, saying they’re all the same in some truly awful way…

    …and isn’t it odd that both of these narrow minded groups seem to think themselves clever for pointing out the narrow mindedness of the other group?

    I think scripture has been used by various Jews, Christians and Muslims to suggest support for brutalizing different people at various times. So what?

    If some people deny and reject those beliefs and interpretations, why persist that all [Insert Group] are alike?

  26. completely off topic, but will there be blogging of tonight’s debate?

  27. Whoever posted at 8:53… My thinking exactly! Where is the debate thread? tsk tsk

  28. Poke poke poke poke poke poke poke poke poke poke…hey, that tiger’s coming after me! I’m a victim!

  29. “The Iranian government has advised the Dutch government to prevent any screening of Wilders’ film”.

    “The Iranian government…”

    So… it’s just the “radical Muslims” that the world should worry about?

    CB

  30. Did I miss something, or did joe just compare Muslims to wild animals?

  31. Strain harder, R C! Nobody believes you don’t get it yet!

  32. joe | January 24, 2008, 9:11pm | #
    Poke poke poke poke poke poke poke poke poke poke…hey, that tiger’s coming after me! I’m a victim!

    Joe, was that reaction really your first instinctual response? Roll over and let the tiger rip out your intestines, instead of turning around and shooting it between the eyes?

    The Mullahs of Iran and the Cultural Ministers of Europe don’t give a shit about defending the sanctity of Islam and the name of Allah; they are playing the political game the way it is played today where ‘tolerance’ is a semantic weapon of mass subjugation.

  33. Didnt the director obviously see this coming? And count on it? He threatens to release the vid on the net if they wont broadcast it. His film is ten mins long. By pure happenstance, youtube vids can be . . . Ten minutes long.

  34. Sure, alan.

    But what does that have to do with making a 10-minute film in order to be a troll?

  35. You can troll dicks, alan. Believe me. I know.

    You’re still just trolling.

  36. we are not any better. Look at what happened to the KKK guys who displayed a noose at the Jenna MS rallies. Instead of the proper respones of jeering and laughing at the idoits, they have been indidted on fed hate crime charges.

  37. I’m more concerned with the broader problem in Europe and Canada where speech regulation is becoming the norm than Geert Wilders’ case specifically, but when the PM of a western nation doesn’t shrug off the threats of the mullahs for the paper tigers they are, but implies appeasement in his statements, that only empowers the mullahs.

  38. Mr Wilders has said his film will show how the Bible is “an inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror.”

    I WISH somebody would do such a film about the Bible.

    Whom would you expect, the Spanish Inquisition?

  39. Whom would you expect, the Spanish Inquisition?

    C’mon. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

  40. I love the people who do the reflexive comparison to Christianity.

    I think most of us take a negative view of organized religion but to imagine that all religions are essentially the same is an impressive display of intellectual laziness.

  41. Sure, Chris, but imagining all communities or individuals who share a religion are essentially the same is just as impressive a display.

  42. The Iranian GOVERNMENT is a “community”?

    Interesting world view.

    CB

  43. So, highnumber, you think I’m lying or mistaken when I say that world domination is mainstream Islamic theology? Read this: http://www.strategycenter.net/docLib/20080107_Coughlin_ExtremistJihad.pdf

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