The trend of blasphemy convictions continues this week with the disturbing case of pianist and composer Fazil Say, who merely retweeted a verse from an 11th century poet on Islamic beliefs on Twitter last year. Under these laws, people are prohibited from speaking their doubts about religious orthodoxy and beliefs. Say was given a suspended 10-month jail term and a criminal record for speaking his mind in Turkey. It is the latest example of how the Islamic government in Turkey is destroying the secular traditions of the country and once gave the country greater freedom than its Muslim neighbors.
Say, 43, was charged after he retweeted a verse from a poem by Omar Khayyám that stated: “You say rivers of wine flow in heaven, is heaven a tavern to you? You say two huris [companions] await each believer there, is heaven a brothel to you?” Say also used Twitter to poke fun at a muezzin (a caller to prayer) and certain religious practices.
While the Obama Administration has sought to appease these countries in developing an international blasphemy standard, this case shows how even the more modern Islamic countries (as well as Western countries) are finding blasphemy to be a useful vehicle to control speech and silence critics.
18 thoughts on “Satanic Tweets: Turkish Court Convicts Composer Of Blasphemy”
Tweeting Turkish pianist given suspended sentence for blasphemy
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A world-renowned concert pianist was given a suspended jail sentence in Turkey on Monday for insulting religious values on Twitter, a case which has become a cause celebre for Turks alarmed about creeping Islamic conservatism.
Fazil Say, also a leading composer, went on trial in October for blasphemy – a crime that can carry an 18-month sentence – for a series of tweets including one citing a 1,000-year-old poem.
Turkey is definitely a worthwhile country. It would be a shame to lose it to Muslim extremism after all it has done to avoid this. We are more a pirate territory than they are, Itching Dog. They also make great carpets; I get 90% of the rugs I sell from there. I spent a month in Turkey in 1984. Nice country, nice people, nice beaches; quite a contrast to its neighbors, including Greece, Jordan,Israel & Iran. Its a better economy than Greece & a better democracy than Israel, Iran, & the others.
Don’t forget, even in America we had blasphemy trials into the late 1800s. A rather sizable minority of Americas would still support some degree of blasphemy laws, in order to protect their religious beliefs. Atheist billboards, for example, are commonly vandalized or billboard owners given death threats. Or, elected officials told that they should use their authority to have them taken down. Nothing inspires censorship as much as religion.
BoingBoing had a link to Riverbend’s recent posting on her blawg “Baghdad Burning” after a five year hiatus beginning when she and her family fled from Iraq to Syria. I know some posters here have mentioned her blawg (a must-read in real time as the country unraveled, was destroyed.) so if you haven’t seen this first/last last one it’s here:
Courtesy of the Justice and Development party of Turkey.
Should it come as no surprise that given President Obama’s record of ignoring the constitution should it come as any surprise he would support such a blasphemy standard before the UN?
And, it will continue as long as enough people don’t speak out and demand accountability.
In heaven there is no beer, and the roads are paved with gold.
Big Friggin Deal. Who wants to go there anyways. Being in eternal bliss must get boring after a few gazillion years.
Besides what good is gold when you can’t get a beer!!!
Yeah Nick and Sprite … I would third it.
I am familiar with some of the crazy restraining orders issued by Family Court judges, they have no sense of their constitutional limitations because almost nobody calls them on it, they are too afraid of having their parental rights taken from them.
And I am sure that in some cases, where the content/topic is abuse then that would be something that a child needs protecting from.
But in my case, and in many cases, as you say the reason is just so the judge can hide his/her own malfeasance or the malfeasance of the social workers involved.
That is exactly what is going on in my case; there is no topics of abuse, or sex or anything content inappropriate for my daughter to be apprised of.
She has her own lawyer, and wants to know and be involved in what is going on, and she is a party to these actions, which are not just family court, but federal ADA claims as well.
Yet I am under threat of immediate imprisonment, if I even touch on the topics she continually asks me about, as no one will tell her anything.
Exactly what the 1st Amend was supposed to prevent from happening – the government threatening your freedom for speech content it does not like.
Ha! That’s a great idea! Let me know if you need someone to second that motion.
“You say rivers of wine flow in heaven, is heaven a tavern to you? You say two huris [companions] await each believer there, is heaven a brothel to you?”
Blasphmey laws: so one doesn’t have to think through the implications of one’s crapulence. If those companions are also virgins, do not the halls of heaven run forever with blood?
Ahhhh, the Arab Spring! I can smell the roses. As in:
[music] Springtime For Hitler in Germany! Winter for Poland and France…..
And Turkey is always fretting about their acceptance in the European Community. The truth of the matter is that Prophet Mohammed was a pervert who married a 9 year old child and porked her under the pretense of marriage. That is like killing under the cover of darkness. Send this blasphemy over to Turkey and I will remember not to visit that God Forsaken Pirate Territory again. Pirate Territory: Fly over and Flush Twice.
And stay away at Thanksgiving.
Yeah OS…. Hitler almost won…. Are we sure we don’t have Napoleon and Josephine in office now…
Gary T, it is very common for family court judges to order that mothers may not speak with their children about a long long list of things, including (if the children have alleged that they were sexually abused, especially) sex, sexual abuse, or sexual safety. One mother in Iowa, when Bonnie Campbell was attorney general there, was ordered not to speak to ANYONE (that included a priest or a therapist) about her daughter, the divorce and custody case she was embroiled in (when social services made a determination that the child’s hymen had been ruptured at the age of four), or sexual abuse, even in GENERAL terms. She eventually was ordered (after a successful appeal) to never speak to the media about the case or she would automatically (without a hearing) lose all her parental rights. This is very common. It happens to parents of both genders. The reason for it is simple: Family Court judges do not want their conduct to be known; they want to rule in star chambers where nobody in the public knows that they make deals, they take money, they violate the civil and criminal laws of their own jurisdictions, they trash the constitution, and they abuse children and parents. They operate in Inquisition standards.
I agree w/ our President setting up an international blasphemy standard. I would have the editors of The Onion run the organization.
If a foreign country wants to engage in this kind of nonsense, it is one thing. When they try to export it and impose dark ages practices on other countries, it is quite another. To have the UN and the President endorse it, however indirectly, is not acceptable. On any level.
Appeasement really worked for Neville Chamberlain, didn’t it?
Being sensitive to the cultural and religious beliefs of another culture is one thing. To tolerate and even codify them in international law is in no way acceptable.
Robert A. Heinlein said it best: “Of all the strange crimes that humanity has legislated out of nothing, blasphemy is the most amazing – with obscenity and indecent exposure fighting it out for second and third place.”
I am under a Restraining Order to not speak about the U.S. Constitution, to discuss our laws, or discuss a court case, with my daughter – our own civil case where she is a co-plaintiff.
If I do, I was assured I would be sent to jail.
This is as blatant a violation of free speech as it gets.
So, don’t think this does not happen in our country, even though it is not a statutory law, and it is not theologically based, it is functionally the same here in America.
“… people are prohibited from speaking their doubts about religious orthodoxy and beliefs.”
In some countries it is verbotten to speak conspiracy theories which are considered to be blasphemy by the orthodox.
Like talking about President Bush II writing a letter to his French counterpart saying he was invading Iraq because of what is written in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.
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