Islam

'Year of Blasphemy' Reveals Deeds Much More Offensive Than Any Word Could Ever Be

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Accused blasphemer

Over at the fine group weblog Popehat, lead blogger Ken has compiled an impressive, helpful, and depressing "Year of Blasphemy" documenting news reports each month having specifically to do with that word. Prompted by calls from some Western academics and commentators to re-examine American values of free speech in the context of differing global attitudes, the piece is worth bookmarking and reading in full. Here is a representative sample of the most recent month:

September 2012:

In Pakistan, police revealed that the clerical accuser of the 11-year-old-girl discussed above may have fabricated the evidence against her.

Also in Pakistan, a shopkeeper who failed to close his store for a protest against the "Innocence of Muslims" film was accused by protestors of blaspheming Mohammed and arrested.

In Moscow, a local theater shut down a production of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" after local prosecutors launched a blasphemy investigation at the request of offended Christians.

In Egypt, a man was arrested for blasphemy after a mob surrounding his house, accusing him of posting a clip from the "Innocence of Muslims" film. An Egyptian court affirmed the six-year blasphemy sentence of another man accused of posting pictures offensive to Muslims on Facebook and insulting President Morsi.

Finally, in Switzerland, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation renewed demands for worldwide blasphemy laws through the United Nations, calling for the West to "come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression."

Ken's conclusion:  

anti-blasphemy laws are a tool for religious majorities to suppress religious minorities, and a mechanism for the more powerful to oppress the relatively powerless, and tend to be used in a lawless manner resembling modern witch hunts. That is the norm we are asked to embrace.

Reason on blasphemy here; on the Innocence of Muslims controversies here.

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  1. firstieth!

  2. Prompted by calls from some Western academics and commentators to re-examine American values of free speech in the context of differing global attitudes…

    Because they know that the only speech that truly deserves and needs protection is that which we all agree upon.

    1. I would kill or die for your right to say everything with which I agree.

    2. Free speech isn’t a value, it’s a natural right. If these academics and commentators want to surrender their rights to a bunch of barbarians who revel in anachronism, they are welcome to do so, just do not attempt to infringe on my rights.

  3. Frankly, I can’t wait to break a blaspemy law somewhere.

    That and the zombie apocalypse are the only things I hold out hope for.

  4. Finally, in Switzerland, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation renewed demands for worldwide blasphemy laws through the United Nations, calling for the West to “come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression.”

    Have they tried sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling,

    “LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA I CAN’T HEEEEEEEEAAARR YOOOOOOOUU!”?

    Because that’s pretty much all I’m willing to concede to them.

  5. and tend to be used in a lawless manner resembling modern witch hunts. That is the norm we are asked to embrace.

    What makes a ‘witch hunt’ modern? Is it just the time period, because, today, in Saudi Arabia, they have old-school style witch hunts, complete with accusations of spellcraft, Satanism, and the imposition of the death penalty.

    1. By the way, today I learned that you’re not allowed to call those who behead people for ‘sorcery‘ “savages,” because drones or something.

      1. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. In which case, by these cretins’ lights I know sorcery which can call fire and destruction from out of the sky upon mine enemies.

    2. Progress. Rather than claiming someone is a witch (which Modern Science agrees do not exist), they use as excuses the modern concepts of infringement of their rights or intolerance of their religion instead. Modernization, bitches. Now, play along, or spend 6 years in jail for calling a spade a spade.

  6. As a lifelong cynic it pains me to say this but I have a glimmer of hope that the attempted murder of a 12-year old girl and the threatened imprisoning of an 11-year old girl for crimes against Allah (PBUH) will be the impetus for a new wave of enlightenment in previously troglodytic Muslim-dominated countries. If State plays its cards right and gently nurtures the stories from the outside and lets the protests grow organically from within perhaps there is hope. Of course within our own borders we have the exact opposite: craven and depraved individuals who would actually shutter the avenues of free speech. I am not sure which I find more disgusting.

    1. If State plays its cards right

      Hahaha I’m pulling your cynic card, Pollyanna.

    2. that the attempted murder of a 12-year old girl and the threatened imprisoning of an 11-year old girl for crimes against Allah (PBUH) will be the impetus for a new wave of enlightenment in previously troglodytic Muslim-dominated countries.

      Why, they’re only females, it’s not like they matter.

  7. Finally, in Switzerland, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation renewed demands for worldwide blasphemy laws through the United Nations, calling for the West to “come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression.”

    When are they going to come out from hiding behind Isalm as an excuse for being dim, intolerant fucks with control issues and with very large sticks up their asses?

    1. Your intolerance will not be tolerated. Submit for an Allah-Approved stoning, or else prepare to be otherwise crushed into non-existance by an Allah-Approved mob.

      1. I’m working on an Offical, Copyrighted, “Allah-Approved” logo for mobs to use in their official Allah-Approved capacities.

      2. All I did was say to my wife, “That piece of halibut was good enough for Muhammad!”

  8. An Egyptian court affirmed the six-year blasphemy sentence of another man accused of posting pictures offensive to Muslims on Facebook and insulting President Morsi.

    Springtime for Arabs!

  9. anti-blasphemy laws are a tool for religious majorities to suppress religious minorities, and a mechanism for the more powerful to oppress the relatively powerless, and tend to be used in a lawless manner resembling modern witch hunts. That is the norm we are asked to embrace.

    In middle eastern countries, definitely. In the West, it’s the reverse: religious minorities get a heckler’s veto against anything they find offensive because free speech is, you know, like that creepy old uncle…

  10. I dunno. All those examples happened in countries that are no worse than the United States. I learned today that we don’t have freedom of speech here either, because of non-libertarian politicians. Also teams and stuff.

  11. There should be no laws against blasphemy against Christian beliefs, because they are all forgiven by God anyway (except in one case, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is impossible for anyone living today to commit).

    Matthew 12:31-32 — “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come.”

    Mark 3:28-29 — “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

    Luke 12:10 — “And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him.” See also: Luke 11:14f.

    1. That’s awesome coz nobody blasphemes against the Holy Spirit coz nobody knows what the fuck it is. We’ve got God, we’ve got Jesus, three’s a crowd…. oops, I think I just committed the unforgivable.

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