Thanks to Sandefur for sending me a link to this information. I’ve done a lot of work defending the ACLU for a long time, but on this one I will gladly condemn them, at least this chapter, in the harshest possible terms. The Florida ACLU has elected to its board a man named Parvez Ahmed, who said the following at a National Press Club speech on February 16th:
“I think the next steps would be to broaden the scope of anti-hate laws and even contemplate about passing blasphemy laws, because blasphemy with such sacred icons, like the Prophet Muhammad, like the Koran, or the cross, or other religious symbols … So governments, legislatures, international bodies … must contemplate about what are the ways in which an anti-blasphemy law can be passed that can protect the right to exercise freedom of religion.”
I’m trying to find the full text of his remarks, but I can’t imagine what they might say that would not make this a very disturbing statement. Let’s not mince words: anyone who believes in anti-blasphemy laws and hate speech codes has no place on the board of anything involving the ACLU or civil liberties. Anyone who claims that laws against blasphemy protect the free exercise of religion is beyond clueless on the subject of civil liberties and they are exactly the people that the ACLU ought to be fighting against at all times and in all places. It really is that simple.