Posted in Agnosticism, Atheism, Blasphemy, Everyday life, Human Rights, Morality, Politics, Religion, The Conscious Disbeliever

Blasphemy Laws and Freedom of Speech

Much has been written about the third-rate film “The Innocence of Muslims” and the senseless violence that erupted in its aftermath. Meanwhile members of the OIC push  for enactment of blasphemy laws.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

“Freedom of thought and belief ends where the freedom of thought and belief of others start. You can say anything about your thoughts and beliefs, but you will have to stop when you are at the border of others’ freedoms. I was able to include Islamophobia as a hate crime in the final statement of an international meeting in Warsaw.”

“When it is in the form of a provocation, there should be international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred, on religion. As much as it is possible to adopt international regulations, it should be possible to do something in terms of domestic law.”

That is not a very democratic sentiment. And it denotes a very thin skinned faith that cannot withstand a tiny bit of satire, of criticism. I thought that faith was supposed to move mountains, but it seems to buckle down when something contrary to it is said. I guess omnipotence has its limits, remember the iron chariots. I would like to remind them, that each and everyday they commit blasphemy against other religions, for example when they say that Jesus was a messenger and not the son of God, they commit blasphemy against Christian religions, and Christians do it against Islam when the affirm the contrary. But maybe, just maybe, religion has nothing to do with all this fuss about blasphemy. It could be that it is all about political control.

I prefer something on the following lines:

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Ideas do not have humans rights, people do. We must respect people, but ideas are free to be contested.

You may want to read the speech by IHEU representative Josephine Macintosh at the Human Rights Council 21st Session on Tuesday 25 September 2012.

The words spoken by President Obama resonate with anybody that has an inclination towards democracy.

Recognizes that the open public debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue, at the local, national and international levels can be among the best protections against religious intolerance and can play a positive role in strengthening democracy and combating religious hatred, and convinced that a continuing dialogue on these issues can help overcome existing misperceptions

UN Human Rights Council resolution 16/18

And don’t forget that September 30th is  International Blasphemy Rights Day  . So go out there and express yourself, exercise your freedom of speech,it will be good for you. In fact swearing has been shown to alleviate  pain:  Why the #$%! Do We Swear? For Pain Relief, and swearing oftentimes includes a healthy bit of blasphemy. Remember that if you offend somebody by this, you are causing them absolutely no harm.

Do you know how many people got killed due to protests about this film?

Yes, you are correct:  ZERO.

See you next time.

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Family man, gamer, neurosurgeon, "Born Again 6.9 Atheist" and of course, Coffee aficionado

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