The sooner New Zealand’s Blasphemy law is repealed the better

I understand that PM Bill English wants to follow proper processes but particularly in a world where old Blasphemy laws are already being used to victimise people in the West, our New Zealand Blasphemy law needs to be eliminated as soon as possible with extreme prejudice. It is a dangerous law that can and will be used by Islamic activists to silence and punish critics of Islam in New Zealand. We need to remove the stick that will be used to beat us up with as soon as is humanly possible. When it has suited political parties in the past they have skipped due process and made quick changes to laws. Even the Labour Party would support this law being booted without further consultation.

…Labour MP Chris Hipkins introduced an amendment to remove anti-blasphemy laws but both the National Party and the Maori Party voted against throwing it out of the Crimes Act…

It comes after Prime Minister Bill English said earlier in May that he didn’t previously know the blasphemy laws existed, but “we could get rid of them”.

It’s understood National changed its mind about dealing with the law quickly and with the help of the Maori Party stopped it going through.
Instead, the government wanted to go through the process of select committee and give the public the opportunity to submit on the potential law change.

The only group likely to make submissions on this law will be Islamic activists. All this could easily be avoided if only National had not changed its mind. Instead of firmly shutting the door they have chosen to leave it open.

The intention was to include the blasphemy law in the next Crimes Act Amendment Bill, which was being worked through but there was no specific timeframe for when it might make it to Parliament.

…English said his preference was to “go through the proper process rather than just spontaneous amendments on the floor of the House”.

But he said once a bill to scrap the law does go to Parliament he expects it would be repealed.

Hipkins said it was a “sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance and leadership”.

“What moral authority does New Zealand have condemning other countries for draconian blasphemy laws when we have one of our own that we refuse to repeal?”

The law – which appears not to have been used since 1922 – came to light after reports British entertainer Stephen Fry faced police investigation in the Republic of Ireland for comments he made about a “capricious, mean-minded, stupid God”.

Blasphemy remains an offence in New Zealand punishable by up to 12 months’ jail.

English previously said “laws that overreach on addressing robust speech are not a good idea”.

Anglican Archbishop and Primate Philip Richardson also said it was time to get rid of the arbitrary and archaic law.

“My view is, God’s bigger than needing to be defended by the Crimes Act,” he said.

ACT leader David Seymour had originally pushed for an MP to introduce a private member’s bill to repeal the law.

“Especially in the context of the terrible atrocities in Manchester, we need a fearless debate about freedom of speech and what is acceptable in a free society. These kinds of laws make New Zealand look a bit hypocritical,” he said.

The Humanist Society of New Zealand, which represented the 41 per cent of people in the country who were not religious, were appalled by the vote in Parliament.

President Sara Passmore said the decision to keep the law was a “clear vote against human rights”.

“By refusing to remove the blasphemy law from our Crimes Act, the Government is saying we are not free to criticise and challenge all ideas. This decision was backwards, and not in line with international trends. We think people, not ideas, should be protected”.

 – Stuff

PAKISTAN: May 15, 2016. (PCP) In these days, a Christian community of a small village Chak 44 of Tehsil Phalia, District Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab is under threats from a charged Muslim mob of surrounding areas after a rumor campaign raised against a Christian sweeper Imran Masih who was falsely accused of watching anti-Islam video lecture on his cell phone of a Pastor

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