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← Only religious thugs love blasphemy laws

Only religious thugs love blasphemy laws - Comments

Chris Roberts's Avatar Comment 1 by Chris Roberts

A good article, especially the closing sentance.

The hypocracy of these people is absolutely staggering.

They want blasphemy laws to let them kill other religions for their own sick pleasure, and to defend their right to do so.

Ideology like this really is a blight on humanity.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:13:43 UTC | #575602

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 2 by Stafford Gordon

..."there is no god and we should grow up" Nut-shelled!

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:22:49 UTC | #575605

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 3 by Peter Grant

Thanks for posting this article, I was just commenting on it in the previous thread:

"RIP Pakistan," sighed Salman Rushdie after Taseer's murder. "What should one say of a country in which an assassin is showered with rose petals while a decent man lies dead?"

Rushdie rules!

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:23:10 UTC | #575606

Cristhián Carvajal Mery's Avatar Comment 4 by Cristhián Carvajal Mery

These guys are crazy. We NEED to make them change some things, starting with freedom to leave their religion and stopping any kind of violence 'justified' by their faith. We live in a civilized world, and we KNOW that what they do deserves no respect becasuse they just trash human dignity.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:41:08 UTC | #575613

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 5 by Alan4discussion

Pakistan is not a land apart, living in another century. Notice how it was able to dress up its assault on freedom of speech in the modern language of human rights. Notice, too, that the UN Human Rights Council approved its duplicity. Admittedly, the council is not so much a black comedy as a sick joke,

I'm afraid, like many other backwaters of ignorance, much of it is living in another century! The western "business is business" approach to supplying weapons and technology to people, culturally too immature to be responsible, is one of the causes of many world wide problems.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:51:13 UTC | #575615

Julian_Rain's Avatar Comment 6 by Julian_Rain

It's funny, Christians always complain that the media discriminates against them - so I'm sure some of them would love a strict(er) blasphemy law. Luckily, the worst Christians will do is say a prayer for you. People fear blaspheming against Islam because you could end up being killed. It's a bad state of affairs.

The strangest thing is, it seems to be getting worse. South Park did a superhero episode a few years back where they had Mohammed, Jesus e.t. al fighting crime. I don't remember the Islamic community making a fuss then. Then after the Danish comic fiasco, South Park did another superhero episode where they didn't dare show Mohammed (they covered him with a large black rectangle).

I think the media has to take a lot of the blame. A lot of non-stories make it and can be extremely dangerous. For example the US preacher who threatened to burn the Qur'an that caused a major controversy. There was absolutely no way that should have ever gone beyond a local paper - it was a complete non-story. The US national media seemed to pick it up and make it a main headline. Are they really that idiotic? The danger and trouble that could have caused... Well I don't know.

When people ask - where are the moderate Muslims? Can you blame them for keeping quiet - even in Europe and the US?

Aahhh, such a peaceful religion.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 10:55:17 UTC | #575618

josephor's Avatar Comment 7 by josephor

Blasphemy laws are a danger to everyone.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 11:08:41 UTC | #575623

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 8 by Peter Grant

Comment 6 by Julian_Rain

When people ask - where are the moderate Muslims? Can you blame them for keeping quiet - even in Europe and the US?

Yes, I think everyone who lets fear stop them from doing what is right deserves some of the blame. Especially when all it takes is a few words to stand up for freedom. It doesn't matter how many bullets or bombs they have, we will always have more words.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 11:17:18 UTC | #575626

josephor's Avatar Comment 9 by josephor

For example the US preacher who threatened to burn the Qur'an that caused a major controversy

Book burning nut cases are irritating but if a person buys a book and decides to burn it or throw a book burning party it is his choice and it is an art of freedom of expression. People may disagree with "book burning" for various reasons but it is up to the owner of the object to do as he or she pleases.The fact that such an act can cause terrorism,murder and riots is pure insanity but it has happened.The proposed blasphemy laws clearly show support for such insanity.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 11:25:25 UTC | #575628

AlexP's Avatar Comment 10 by AlexP

Laws against blasphemy are like laws against assaulting invisible men.

Not only there is no apparent victim, the decision what constitutes an offense is also entirely arbitrary. Anything can be considered an "offense".

"So you claim you were just pointing in the direction of the airport to guide this woman? Seems to me like you were poking the eyes of an invisible man! We won't suffer your kind here!"

When someone is accused of theft or murder, we usually pause when there is serious doubt that the object he stole or the person he murdered even existed. With blasphemy, that only saves the prosecutor the trouble of "evidence".

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 11:26:03 UTC | #575629

Julian_Rain's Avatar Comment 11 by Julian_Rain

Maybe in numbers they would be okay - but for the first few to speak up - they'd need balls of steel.

Comment 8 by Peter Grant :

Comment 6 by Julian_Rain

When people ask - where are the moderate Muslims? Can you blame them for keeping quiet - even in Europe and the US?

Yes, I think everyone who lets fear stop them from doing what is right deserves some of the blame. Especially when all it takes is a few words to stand up for freedom. It doesn't matter how many bullets or bombs they have, we will always have more words.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 11:31:54 UTC | #575630

josephor's Avatar Comment 12 by josephor

Is this Blasphemy or racism when I say these people are ignorant savages

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:11:15 UTC | #575637

NealOKelly's Avatar Comment 13 by NealOKelly

Pardon me for trotting out a bumper sticker slogan, but:

"Blasphemy is a victimless crime."

I think Julian_Rain hits the nail on the head when he says that the media are to blame. My wife is American so I go to the states fairly frequently. It's not unusual to be asked a question like, "How do you feel about the fact that Britain has adopted sharia law?" That's so far divorced from reality to be hilarious. But, nevertheless, people must be getting these ludicrous ideas from somewhere!

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:12:23 UTC | #575640

KJinAsia's Avatar Comment 14 by KJinAsia

It's much deeper than just the media. Moral relativism was a good antidote to the religious problems of the 1970s in the west, but to extend it by western standards to morally bankrupt religion-based power structures in unstable parts of the world at a time of impending climate driven agricultural and migration challenges is plain stupid.

It's a global civilization killer.

If you have reacted to Harris' current ideas with hesitance or worse, you might want to make a second sweep. It isn't about the provability of individual ethics, it's about letting mathematics define the principles of human well being around which we regulate ourselves.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:21:04 UTC | #575644

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 15 by Peter Grant

Julian_Rain's Avatar Comment 11 by Julian_Rain

Maybe in numbers they would be okay - but for the first few to speak up - they'd need balls of steel.

Since when has the Muslim world exhibited a shortage of people willing to die for what they believe? These "moderates", if they exist, do need to grow some.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:33:46 UTC | #575646

godtoldmetobeanatheist's Avatar Comment 16 by godtoldmetobeanatheist

Comment 16 by Peter Grant :

Julian_Rain's Avatar Comment 11 by Julian_Rain

Maybe in numbers they would be okay - but for the first few to speak up - they'd need balls of steel.

Since when has the Muslim world exhibited a shortage of people willing to die for what they believe? These "moderates", if they exist, do need to grow some.

It is very easy for you to sit in safety and expect others to speak up, when you know very well that the moderates who 'grow some' face the threat of death. As an atheist living in a Muslim country, I tire of the people commenting on this website who lazily imagine all Muslims to be, if not outright evil, at least cowardly and irresponsible. The fact that the vast majority of Muslims are good and decent people is obvious to anyone living among them, and only in websites such as these (which I enjoy reading) do you find comments which indicate such blatant bigotry.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:39:37 UTC | #575647

godtoldmetobeanatheist's Avatar Comment 17 by godtoldmetobeanatheist

Comment 13 by josephor :

Is this Blasphemy or racism when I say these people are ignorant savages

If by 'these people', you mean all Muslims, or most of them, then it's very blatant bigotry.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:43:30 UTC | #575648

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 18 by Peter Grant

Comment 17 by godtoldmetobeanatheist

It is very easy for you to sit in safety and expect others to speak up, when you know very well that the moderates who 'grow some' face the threat of death. As an atheist living in a Muslim country, I tire of the people commenting on this website who lazily imagine all Muslims to be, if not outright evil, at least cowardly and irresponsible. The fact that the vast majority of Muslims are good and decent people is obvious to anyone living among them, and only in websites such as these (which I enjoy reading) do you find comments which indicate such blatant bigotry.

I live in South Africa and I have been threatened by Muslims at work for forwarding cartoons criticising Islam. The reason apartheid lasted so long was because "good and decent people" were cowards and said nothing. It was only when we all stood up to the evil that it fell.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:52:10 UTC | #575649

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 19 by Vicktor

It is difficult for Islam to find reform. It's like taking Christianity out of the middle ages and dropping it 'as is' in 2011; except that with global communication etc. any 'radical new idea' (e.g. daily prayers are not really compulsory) can quickly be quashed (or its proponents arrested or killed) by the Islamic 'establishment' before it can even begin to take hold in a small area, and then quietly spread to other small areas until it 'naturally' becomes widely accepted in many different places as a 'legitimate' school of thought. Ironically, technology today provides Islam with all the tools it needs to pretty much ensure Muslims everywhere are kept in line.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:00:44 UTC | #575651

godtoldmetobeanatheist's Avatar Comment 20 by godtoldmetobeanatheist

Comment 19 by Peter Grant :

I live in South Africa and I have been threatened by Muslims at work for forwarding cartoons criticising Islam. The reason apartheid lasted so long was because "good and decent people" were cowards and said nothing. It was only when we all stood up to the evil that it fell.

Oh get off your moral high horse. First of all, there are quite obviously Muslims who condemn the killing, and aren't afraid to speak out. Thousands came out to support Salman Taseer during his funeral, even if selective reading prevents you from acknowledging it. And if you work and have friends among Muslims, you must know that almost all of them find terrorism repugnant. My point was that you can't expect all of them to put their lives on their line as Salman Taseer did. (and no, forwarding some cartoons does not give you the moral high ground to condemn over a billion people in the world)

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:03:51 UTC | #575652

NealOKelly's Avatar Comment 21 by NealOKelly

Comment 19 by Peter Grant

I live in South Africa and I have been threatened by Muslims at work for forwarding cartoons criticising Islam. The reason apartheid lasted so long was because "good and decent people" were cowards and said nothing. It was only when we all stood up to the evil that it fell.

And how did these "Mulsims at work" find out you had been forwarding cartoons criticising Islam? Did you forward the cartoons to them? Becuase if you did, that would make you a bit of an obnoxious idiot, wouldn't it?

And what did they threaten to do to you? Report you to your boss for breaching your employers divesity policy?

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:14:29 UTC | #575655

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 22 by Peter Grant

Comment 21 by godtoldmetobeanatheist

Oh get off your moral high horse.

No, how many fascist regimes have you helped overthrow?

First of all, there are quite obviously Muslims who condemn the killing, and aren't afraid to speak out. Thousands came out to support Salman Taseer during his funeral, even if selective reading prevents you from acknowledging it. And if you work and have friends among Muslims, you must know that almost all of them find terrorism repugnant.

But they're not above a little bullying and intimidation.

My point was that you can't expect all of them to put their lives on their line as Salman Taseer did.

Yes I can.

(and no, forwarding some cartoons does not give you the moral high ground to condemn over a billion people in the world)

I'm not condemning anyone, but through their inaction they are condemning themselves to slavery.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:17:00 UTC | #575658

RDfan's Avatar Comment 23 by RDfan

Least we should forget, the UK didn't repeal its blasphemy laws until 2008!

Admittedly, being guilty of blasphemy in Pakistan or in the UK would have led to very different outcomes for the accused in the 21stC.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:20:09 UTC | #575659

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 24 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 24 by RDfan :

Least we should forget, the UK didn't repeal its blasphemy laws until 2008!

Admittedly, being guilty of blasphemy in Pakistan or in the UK would have led to very different outcomes for the accused in the 21stC.

Let us not forget that the recent changes to the 'Hate Laws' are stealth blasphemy laws. We also have a Sharia law and Sharia courts to get rid of. Two monstrous reasons to worry about where Britain is going.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:28:53 UTC | #575661

NealOKelly's Avatar Comment 25 by NealOKelly

Comment 25 by AtheistEgbert

We also have a Sharia law and Sharia courts to get rid of.

No. We don't.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:32:02 UTC | #575662

ajs261's Avatar Comment 26 by ajs261

I suppose Britain's prospects can be seen in two lights.

On one side, for the first time, the British Social Attitudes Survey has shown that the irreligious make up a majority in the UK population - and rising.

On the other side, Islam is also growing.

Not that I necessarily agree with the immigration cap the coalition has introduced but I can't help but at least see a small upside if it stops people coming from that backwards, barbaric country.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:36:06 UTC | #575663

JackR's Avatar Comment 27 by JackR

Nick Cohen, like Hitch, is one of those interesting people I usually agree with, sometimes disagree with, but always respect. On this piece: no disagreement whatsoever.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:36:39 UTC | #575664

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 28 by Peter Grant

@NealOKelly

I am a bit of an obnoxious idiot. Here's the cartoon I forwarded to the office in support of Zapiro and the Mail & Guardian for Everybody Draw Muhammad Day (20th May 2010):

As a result of the Draw Muhammad Day campaign, Muhammad visits his psychologist

Strangely enough the Jews and Christians never threaten me or my job when I tease them.

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:37:08 UTC | #575665

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 29 by Stevehill

@goltoldmetobeanatheist

And if you work and have friends among Muslims, you must know that almost all of them find terrorism repugnant. My point was that you can't expect all of them to put their lives on their line as Salman Taseer did.

In Egypt, after the Coptic Christian massacre, moderate Muslims did just that. They formed a human shield around a church to allow mass to be celebrated.

Nothing prevents "almost all" Muslims who find terrorism in Pakistan repugnant doing exactly the same to stop a Christian woman being executed for "blasphemy".

Let's see if they do so, shall we?

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:46:43 UTC | #575670

Neil5150's Avatar Comment 30 by Neil5150

Is it true as a generalization that Islam has been very successful in enforcing blasphemy laws since Islams inception? All religions have blasphemy "laws", no other gods, just have faith, god made it that way to question your faith....

I know there are many "sects" of Islam, however many of those sects were born at the time of the writing of the Koran; Shiite / Sunni division...

What (if anything) makes Christianity more susceptible to schism's, seems that adherence gets watered down with every split. Is it the fact that the "west" has separated the justice system/ politics from Christianity, limiting religion to moral authority alone?

Sun, 09 Jan 2011 13:47:55 UTC | #575671