blasphemy laws

Blasphemy law through the backdoor

The European Court of Human Rights has essentially upheld Islamic blasphemy laws and have taken away an Austrian woman’s right to freedom of speech. They have criminalised her fact-based suggestion that the Prophet Muhammad was a paedophile because he had a six-year-old wife. The court ruled that they had the right to restrict her free speech because of how many Muslims would react to her words. The court fined her and unbelievably called her statement “wrong and offensive, even if Muhammad had married a six-year-old and had intercourse with her when she had been nine.”

So what was the backdoor way in which the European court justified imposing an Islamic blasphemy law (the Sharia) on a woman who had thought that she lived in a democratic and free country? quote.

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We need to repeal New Zealand’s blasphemy law

It is my belief that authoritarian countries have and enforce blasphemy laws so imagine my shock when I found out that New Zealand has a blasphemy law. So far it has only been used once to prosecute  British poet Siegfried Sassoon in 1922 for these closing lines.

O Jesus, send me a wound to-day,

And I’ll believe in Your bread and wine,

And get my bloody old sins washed white!

Luckily for Sassoon the jury returned a verdict of not guilty with a rider: “That similar publications of such literature be discouraged”.

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Blasphemy laws are the foundation of an authoritarian state

Pakistani Christian villagers march during a protest against the country’s strict blasphemy laws against Islam. Getty images

Pakistan is a Muslim country and when they introduced blasphemy laws they said they were created to protect people’s religious beliefs but the laws resulted in public death sentences. Naive Canada is being led down the same garden path by a leader known more for his boyish good looks than his common sense. He has introduced motions against “Islamophobia” that are not legally binding but Muslim extremists are already agitating for them to become laws.

A resolution, M-103, seeking to condemn so-called “Islamophobia,” was introduced a few weeks ago in the peaceful country of Canada by Liberal Party MP Iqra Khalid in the House of Commons, sparking a controversy.

A similar motion, labelled M-37, was later tabled in the Ontario provincial legislature by MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers on February 23, 2017, and was passed by the provincial parliament.

M-37, like its predecessor, demanded that lawmakers condemn “all forms of Islamophobia” and reaffirm “support for government efforts, through the Anti-Racism Directorate, to address and prevent systemic racism across government policy, programs and services”…

There are, of course, no comparable motions against “Judeophobia” or “Christianophobia”.

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Canadians from Iran and Pakistan don’t support Canadian Blasphemy law

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Academic cowardice from University previously known for academic freedom

The University of Cape Town was once known known for academic freedom. In fact it had a tradition of having a lecture every year on that specific topic.This year it invited former publisher Flemming Rose to give the lecture on academic freedom. He was an excellent choice as he is the former editor of Jyllands-Posten, which published the Danish cartoons in an attempt to contribute to the debate about criticism of Islam and self-censorship.

The below article was written by a previous  invitee of the University of Cape Town  in response to the decision of the University to ‘disinvite’ Flemming Rose from giving this year’s TB Davie Lecture on Academic Freedom.

What has happened is part of a disturbing trend. Western Universities  say they believe in equal rights then allow lectures to be segregated by sex to accommodate Muslim lecturers and Muslim students. They allow radical extremist Muslim speakers  on campus but ban critics of Islam.  They stand up for freedom of speech except when it might offend Muslims. Is it because of fear or is it submission? Whatever it is, it needs to stop.


Last year, I was honoured to be invited to the University of Cape Town to give the 2015 TB Davie lecture. It was a privilege to have been able to become part of the history that is the TB Davie lecture, a history of resistance to apartheid and to censorship, a history of refusing to think as one has been told to think but, rather, of challenging people to open their minds, a history of continually rethinking the meanings of freedom, and of academic freedom. It was a privilege, too, to be able to sign my name in a speakers’ book in which other signatories include such great figures as Walter Sisulu, Wole Soyinke, Orlando Patterson, Juliet Mitchell, Edward Said and Noam Chomsky.

Even though I spent but a short time at UCT, I came to have great affection for the university, and its students and staff. It comes as a shock, therefore, to discover that the UCT has decided to disinvite Flemming Rose who was to be this year’s TB Davie lecturer.

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American’s first Amendment rights violated by Social Media companies

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This month the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment.

Center for Security Policy  Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihad Watch. The lawsuit alleges that Spencer and Geller as well as the organisations they run, have often been subject to discrimination and censorship by twitter Facebook and YouTube because of the beliefs and views they express. They believe the censorship and discrimination is because these social media organisations consider their freedom of expression to be offensive to Muslims.

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Denmark has selectively criminalised Free Speech

Members of the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir demand a worldwide Islamic Caliphate during a demonstration in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2006. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Epo)

Members of the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir demand a worldwide Islamic Caliphate during a demonstration in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2006. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Epo)

Denmark has criminalised free speech. They have applied the law selectively. A Danish Imam called Jews “the offspring of apes and pigs” but no legal charges were filed against him. In contrast, when a Danish citizen called Islam loathsome like Nazism, legal charges were filed and he was fined.

These two examples show that pointing out the negative aspects of the ideology or religion of Islam is now a criminal offence in Denmark. Insulting Jewish people, on the other hand, is not despite the law clearly stating that you cannot threaten, insult or demean a group of people.

Last week, a Danish district court ruled that what a Danish citizen had written on Facebook in November 2013 violated the Danish criminal code.

In response to a debate about the local activities of a radical Islamic organization, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which works for the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate, he wrote: “The ideology of Islam is as loathsome, disgusting, oppressive and as misanthropic as Nazism. The massive immigration of Islamists into Denmark is the most devastating thing to happen to Danish society in recent history.”

According to § 266b of Denmark’s criminal code, it is prohibited and punishable by fine or prison publicly to threaten, insult or demean a group of persons because of their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.

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