Muslim Countries Move To Adopt New Law Allowing The Prosecution Of People Insulting Religion In Other Countries

600px-Emblem_of_Qatar.svgThe effort by Muslim countries to curtail free speech in the name of their religion continues. 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. The latest attack comes from Qatar which has proposed a ban that would allow for the prosecution of people in other countries. That’s right, our allies are creating laws to allow them to prosecute people for insulting religion outside their own countries.

The use of the term “defamation” is a new twist to satisfy Western sensibilities and make it sound like this is a recognized form of legal action. However, it is the old blasphemy law in a new and more menacing form. The law would actually be broader than blasphemy which already exists on the books of many Muslim countries. This law would allow for the prosecution of people for all forms of defamation, derision or denigration of religions and prophets will be considered crimes.

The selling point of the new law was explained by Ebrahim Mousa Al Hitmi, the Qatari justice ministry assistant undersecretary for legal affairs,“The main feature of the draft is that it gives every state the right to put on trial those who abuse and hold in contempt religions even if they are outside the country.”

However this “legal expert” assured people that there is no danger at all to free speech because insulting religion is not protected speech: “The law does not interfere in any way with the freedom of opinion and expression which is well protected and guaranteed. All penal laws in Arab countries criminalize defamation of religions but there are no specific sanctions when an abuser is outside the country. Therefore, the main goal of this law is to deter all forms of defamation of religions and give each country that ratifies it the right to file lawsuits against those who offend religions, even if they are not residents.” See how simple it is? You first declare denigrating religion as outside of the scope of permitted speech and then when you prosecute people for writing or speaking about religion it is by definition not a question of free speech.

These laws reflect an inherent insecurity among religious extremists running these countries that free speech represents a serious threat to orthodoxy. It is not enough that they prosecute and even execute people for apostasy. They are determined to cut off alternative views being spoken about religion on the Internet or in other countries.

Much of the past writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Egypt to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech.  We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard.

The continued effort to restrict speech not only in their own countries but now in other countries show again how unwise this effort by the Obama Administration was from the start. The Administration has given credibility to these efforts to curb anti-religious speech. Whatever desire it had to “moderate” such actions by cooperating on an international standard has proven, as many of us predicted, an utter failure. There can be no compromise between free speech and blasphemy. These nations stand against the most basic right of all men and women to speak freely and worship (or not worship) as their values dictate.

58 thoughts on “Muslim Countries Move To Adopt New Law Allowing The Prosecution Of People Insulting Religion In Other Countries”

  1. Bron,

    I’ll be the last to cast Perles before swine, or to Scoop them up after casted. Classical history is great stuff, but don’t ignore what is occurring in your own lifetime.

  2. gbk:

    no, not at all. they are merely the repositories of other’s thinking. Some think for themselves but most only know what they learn in school and read for themselves, most I imagine from modern day intellectuals: like Kristol and the Kagans. Many on the left are also guilty of the same thing but influenced by a different group of intellectuals.

    My thinking is that most people have no clue what freedom really is and would want no part of it if they were able to figure out what it meant to them as individuals. And I am not talking anarchy but our government’s philosophy of government as it was in, say, 1804.

    All appear to be Neo-Cons. Not a good group of people by any stretch.

    Although I think western culture as a derivative of Athens is pretty good and would want, if I could choose, to live in a country dedicated to human well- being and freedom. Not that Athens was perfect, it did have its dictators, but it also had Solon, Pericles, Aristotle and many other influential thinkers.

    In my opinion, the Greek Intellectuals are a good bit of the reason we have come as far as we have. I think we are reversing course, the popularity of shows with a mystical theme are cause for worry as is the seeming power of the Christian right and left for that matter.

  3. Bron,

    Do you think politcians are the source of current thought?

    Source of cultural opinion is always important. Read the names offered, study their philosopy, and get back to me.

  4. gbk:

    that was pretty good satire.

    It is sad that it is quite true. We, as a country have spent way too much time getting involved in other people’s business.

    Do you think this arose out of our desire to help people? First we had WWI, then lend lease, then WWII and after that rebuilding much of the world. We gave huge amounts of money to feed other people and to oppose the Soviet Union.

    Was it a desire to help people or something more sinister? You can say it was to exploit markets but I am not so sure. Look at Saudi Arabia, they just nationalized the oil fields, we let them. So it seems on the one hand that we didnt necessarily look to other countries to line our pockets.

    It seems the scales are falling from America’s eyes and where we once saw a resplendent Liberty we now see the Hydra and are repulsed by the ugliness and evil she represents. I wonder if we can decapitate her and restore Liberty to her rightful place?

  5. Christian Countries Move To Adopt New Law Allowing The Prosecution Of People Insulting Religion In Other Countries

    In a sharp turn of events beginning in 1096 and culminating in the twenty-first century, the western world is exasperated at not being able to continually extract Near Eastern wealth while relying on the easy profits for their standard of living.

    “This is bullshit,” claimed noted foreign policy expert William Kristol. “These people wouldn’t have a pot to piss in without us invading their countries. Yes, I know they invented pottery back in the Sumacrian days; but this is today; pots are different now!”

    When asked of the current rife between East and West, Donald Kagan, a Yale professor of ancient Greek history stated, “well, they messed up didn’t they? I mean how seriously can you take the claim of a prophet being lifted, on a horse, into heaven? Christian history is much simpler as many people were crucified, it was normal at the time. Do you know anybody that has a horse?”

    Francis Fukuyama, the author of, “The End Of History And The Last Man” refused to offer any opinion.

    “Don’t they see that we are trying to help them,” asked Cullman Pall, the Chairman of the Joint Chief’s Of Staff?

    “Our goal, well, not the staff’s goal, but our goal as a country, well actually, the goal of our government, well actually, the goal of American finance, is to establish free trade with the currency of trade being the dollar.”

    When asked for clarification of this statement, Cullman Pall stated:

    “There was a time where each country had it’s own currency. It was a pain in the ass. You would spend hours exchanging your currency when travelling. The first thing you would do after getting off a plane would be to exchange your dollars for cheesy francs, and then for Naz- um, sorry, German marks. And if you wanted to go to a country with lira as a currency — good luck.”

    “This current cultural clash has been way overblown,” notes Robert Kagan, a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, co-founder and signatory of the Project For The New American Century, a fellow at the Brookings Institute and the American Enterprise Institute along with his brother, Frederick, and son of Yale emeritus Donald Kagan.

    1. “This current cultural clash has been way overblown,” notes Robert Kagan, a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, co-founder and signatory of the Project For The New American Century, a fellow at the Brookings Institute and the American Enterprise Institute along with his brother, Frederick, and son of Yale emeritus Donald Kagan.”


      That quote and the rest of the comment above it was simply brilliant.

      “Was it a desire to help people or something more sinister? You can say it was to exploit markets but I am not so sure.”


      You of all people should know damned well that it wasn’t a desire to help people. I don’t say that disparagingly, but simply I am referring to your political philosophy. You’ve proven to be a pretty decent human being and yet you believe that people should pretty much fend for themselves. Imagine someone less sensitive to others pain than you, in charge of the largest military establishment in history and why they seem to only invade places where there’s money to be made.

      “Then I would read Frazer’s, “The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion,” or, “The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion” either edition will do; so as to abruptly expose your mind to the assumptions of culture which Frazer points out while being unaware of his own.”


      Frazer is a wonderful place to begin and I would also add Campbell’s “Masks of God” series and Graves “White Goddess,” After that perhaps Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker”.

  6. Iran “sentenced” Salman Rushdie, and muslim terrorists around the world have wanted to kill him ever since. Anti-woman/anti-choice christians in the US “sentenced doctors to death”, and many have been shot or murdered.

    Religion resorts ot violence because it can’t prove its “arguments” on their own merits. The only solutions religions offer are final solutions, kill those who disagree with them, especially those who show that their religion is crap.

    Those scumbags are not trying to “protect” their non-existent “god”. They are trying to legalizing terrorism and murder.

    I’d say some “blasphemy” here (about mohammed nine year old girls and sex, or something about the christian “god” raping a teenage girl), but it’s not my website.

  7. If the US can extradite and convict Marc Emery from Canada for selling cannabis seeds by mail, which is legal in Canada, despite Mr. Emery never having been in the US, then other countries can do the same to US citizens. The US govt. is the lead culprit in this scenario. US citizens who fear sharia law are not so crackpot any more.

  8. The Ker-Frisbie doctrine provides that “.. forcible abduction is no sufficient reason why the party should not answer when brought within the jurisdiction of the court which has the right to try him for such an offence, and presents no valid objection to his trial in such court.” In Alvarez-Machain, the U.S. had also refused to extradite to Mexico the DEA agents who arranged the defendant’s kidnapping in Mexico. Presumably, we will have no objection to other countries exercising similar authority to kidnap and criminally try U.S. residents.

  9. Yeah, our own government is following the dog lead here from this blog. When American troops invaded Libya and kidnapped the muslim pirate the other day they did ask for permission to enter the Pirate Territory of Libya.

  10. We in the dogpac have been warning fellow blogger about Pirate Territories for months now. Fly over and flush.

  11. As suggested earlier, these are a few more countries that I can take off my must visit list. If we have the “jurisdiction” to kidnap citizens of another country by claiming he/she is a terrorist or a wanted criminal or killing them with drones, this approach doesn’t go much farther… does it?

  12. Throughout history the minions use religion to control themselves and the powerful use religion to control others.

  13. they could send out hit squads of 2-3 people and take care of business.

    Who would know?

    They went after salman rushdie.

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