The bill passes 41-6. Before you think that the six represented a core of civil libertarians, legislator Ahmad Lari said he voted against the law not because of the concern for free speech. He wants to punish blasphemers but thought the language was a bit ambiguous.
MP Faysal Al-Muslim notably proclaimed “Today, we lead the world through this law. It is a triumph for the Prophet to execute those who harm him and his wives, and especially Aisha the pure. Cursing them shames us all.”
Unfortunately, he may be right — with the help of the Obama Administration which is working on an international standard to allow for the prosecution of people who speak out about religion. The Administration has drawn a dangerous line with Muslim countries in first supporting the concept of an international blasphemy standard. As I have mentioned before, the efforts of the Obama Administration to work with countries like Egypt on an international blasphemy standard is a threat to free speech around the world. After first supporting an international blasphemy standard, the Administration sought to get Egypt and other countries to adopt the Brandenburg standard as the basis for such prosecutions. These cases show the mentality of countries pushing for a “balance” between free speech and religion. It also shows why the use of the Brandenburg standard is so dangerous in the hands of such officials who view free speech as the cause of imminent violence. Because any joke or image of the Prophet can trigger violence, the standard is immediately satisfied in countries like Egypt, which can then claim some legal legitimacy under the standard created with the United States. Free speech is under attack around the world and I view this effort as facilitating, rather than curtailing, such crackdowns on dissidents and intellectuals.
Kuwait is not viewed as the most radical country in this area and has obviously close ties to the United States (which liberated the nation). For that reason, this law is particularly chilling as to the potential of the international standard under development by the Obama Administration and Muslim countries.
Source: Times of Israel as first seen on Reddit.