Over in secular Europe

Irish atheists challenge new blasphemy laws:

Secular campaigners in the Irish Republic defied a strict new blasphemy law which came into force today by publishing a series of anti-religious quotations online and promising to fight the legislation in court.

The new law, which was passed in July, means that blasphemy in Ireland is now a crime punishable with a fine of up to â¬25,000 (£22,000).

It defines blasphemy as "publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted".

The justice minister, Dermot Ahern, said that the law was necessary because while immigration had brought a growing diversity of religious faiths, the 1936 constitution extended the protection of belief only to Christians.

Speaking of religious diversity, over in Denmark, luckily an Attempt to Kill Danish Cartoonist Fails:

The police foiled an attempt to kill an artist who drew a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad that sparked outrage in the Muslim world, the head of Denmark's intelligence service said Saturday.

Jakob Scharf, who heads PET, the Danish intelligence service, said a 28-year-old Somalia man was armed with an ax and a knife when he tried to enter the home of the artist, Kurt Westergaard, in Aarhus on Friday evening.

Westergaard was home with his 5 year old granddaughter. It looks like the Danish People's Party might be subsidizing unhinged adherents of the Religion of Peace, because they're going to the primary beneficiaries of attempts to spread the barbaric mores of much of the Muslim world in regards to anti-religious expression to the civilized world.

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Oh, yeah, but they screwed up. Probably the best known of the inflammatory anti-Islam Danish cartoons was the work of Kurt Westergaard, who drew the prophet Mohammed with a bomb for a turban. It was a very misleading portrayal of a Muslim, which was demonstrated lately when a Somali fanatic tried…
I need details of this law against blasphemy. If "Begorrah!" and "Saints preserve us!" are outlawed, then Irish stereotypes will be utterly demolished. On the other hand, one Irish fellow I knew used the peculiar expression "fewkin'" as every other word…I presume charming references to sexual acts…
Citing a "sophisticated campaign" on the internet (congratulations, Michael Nugent and all the gang at Atheist Ireland), the Irish government is going to reconsider their blasphemy law. Dermot Ahern, the justice minister, is proposing that a vote to remove the criminal offence of blasphemy be held…
Eugene Volokh had a couple of posts a few days ago about anti-religious speech and a movement to regulate it around the world. It begins with the UN Commission on Human Rights urging nations to "take resolute action to prohibit the dissemination through political institutions and organizations of…

Granddaughter, not daughter. Poor girl.

Various local Muslim organizations have instantly done the right thing and denounced this. Good. They've learned.

For some reason I don't think Dansk Folkeparti will abuse this incident -- it was already publically known that Westergaard had had to move around between safe houses + gotten PET training + often had PET body guards. The leader of that party also has PET body guards as have a Muslim politician from another party (because he dares criticize some Muslims and some Muslim practices).

And again: poor little girl.

By Peter Lund (Denmark) (not verified) on 01 Jan 2010 #permalink

The Ten Commandments ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me.") blasphemes all religions except Judaism.

Islam holds apostasy as an abomination, which blasphemes all religions except itself.

Pot, kettle, black.

BTW, Mohammad appears as a regular in the comic strip Jesus and Mo.


By Lemon Curry (not verified) on 02 Jan 2010 #permalink

Oh! Oh! This is hilarious!

So instead of getting rid of the blasphemy law, Dermot Ahern extends it to everyone else!

Dermot Ahern can suck a fat one.

By Katharine (not verified) on 02 Jan 2010 #permalink

the Religion of Peace

The "peace" of the grave.

By Afterthought (not verified) on 02 Jan 2010 #permalink

Fuck blasphemy laws.

In fact, fuck god while He fucks the pope while the Pope fucks a choirboy while the boy fucks a copy of the blasphemy laws.

Feel free to fucking forward this all over Ireland.

By Jason McFailes (not verified) on 02 Jan 2010 #permalink

For a bit of background, there's a constitutional requirement that .ie have a blasphemy law; the previous one was struck down in the courts in the 1990s, so the minister was following the letter of his job in introducing the new one. (There's no guarantee a referendum would have removed the requirement from the constitution successfully.) I would be very, very suprised if people were prosecuted under the new law.

According to WKPD, blasphemy is still a crime in Northern Ireland, isn't in England and Wales, and probably isn't in Scotland.

By bioIgnoramus (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink