Irish Muslim Leader Warns Any Newspaper From Publishing Charlie Hebdo Cartoons Or Face Blasphemy Charges

FlagbigAli Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland has declared publicly that he will bring legal action against any Irish newspaper or publication that runs the Charlie Hebdo or other similar cartoons featuring Muhammad. As discussed in my Sunday Washington Post column, these laws in Western countries like France have served to emboldened those like Selim in demanding that others confirm to their religious sensibilities. Despite his effort to deter others from speaking in this fashion, Selim insists without any appearance of embarrassment that he is “a great advocate of freedom of expression” . . . so long of course that it is his expression or an expression that does not offend him.

We have previously discussed Ireland’s ignoble status as a Western nation that has dabbled in blasphemy prosecutions. In 1999, the country’s blasphemy law was found to be incompatible with the Constitution’s guarantee of religious equality. Belated but true. However, a new offense was crafted for the “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter.”

The Muslim scholar insisted that he is not threatening the lives of journalists but that he will sue anyone who offends him or other Muslims and that such speech “doesn’t help for peaceful coexistence.” He insisted that he is only using the laws that exist and he may be right. The fault stands with Ireland — just as I criticized France in the column.

Selim noted the parameters for acceptable speech: “You can say love is stronger than hate but you can’t portray the Prophet Mohammed. If the law gives you the right to do it, do it, if the law does not give you the right to do it, then don’t do it.”

Selim likely will anger many in Ireland in such comments but it is the Irish who have to answer for these laws. Selim clearly does not truly believe in the freedom of expression, but it is Ireland that has enabled his ability to silence others. Selim insisted “Definitely if there is a legal action, I will take it. If you want to blame, blame the law.” Once again he is right. Ireland has allied itself with those who would deny the speech of others and this is the result.

46 thoughts on “Irish Muslim Leader Warns Any Newspaper From Publishing Charlie Hebdo Cartoons Or Face Blasphemy Charges”

  1. And so it goes, ignorance continues to breed intolerance, regardless the locale.

  2. As much as I believe “cancer” to be an overused metaphor, I cannot think of a better one to describe these fanatics and the radical movements. This really is a zero-sum scenario because you cannot bend to the will of the fanatic and still call yourself a free society. You cannot allow a ‘little bit’ of cancer into your body and expect to remain healthy; at some point, you have to rid the body of the cancer or suffer under its effect.

    Countries will need to declare which side they are on; there can be no tolerance for fence-sitters. We’ll have to review administrative policy in the United States as well, because we too have been trying to wedge the overbearing administrative state into a society rooted in self-reliance and liberty. It’ s zero-sum here as well; we need to end this fanatical idea that we can be “more” free if we allow government just a little more power than originally intended. It too, is a cancer on our country and as our foreign policy has proven, it spreads.

  3. It is possible to consider that a quick trial, followed by a long drop with a short rope is the most appropriate result if these mindless thugs are captured and that one should respect the religions of others.

    It also seems that the more convoluted, bizarre, and dictatorial a religion the weaker it is in its essence and if you put a gun to anybody’s head they would respond by asking which way is East and then looking for a prayer rug. The only real religion is the one one believes in freely and that doesn’t depend on whether or not it is the only one.

    Life is full of contradictions and that typically makes people move to one or the other extreme. It’s tough walking down the center of the road but that is where the balance lies.

    We are open for interpretation.

  4. Next edict from Ali Selim is for a spot in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Marching down 5th avenue in NYC with jihadists wearing suicide bomber vests.
    Cardinal Dolan will flip. Then throw in the Irish Protestants into the mix. I’ll be in the Irish pub around the corner where its safe!

  5. The MSM is indeed gutless, Paul. But they have a full supply of self congratulations, sanctimony, and liberal bias.

  6. slohrss29:
    Too much hedging my friend.
    When in a war, you do not give your enemy succor.
    Moderate Muslims may be offended by informational backlashes, but NO ONE should be kowtowed into silence in the slightest.
    Any concessions on free speech due to these terrorist attacks is only encouragement for more terrorists attacks.
    There is no “understanding”, there is no “perspective” on the motivations for these attacks. You give any room for egalitarian sentiment on these responses to normal free speech expressions, you are on a road to self-censorship, and the undoing of our way of life.
    You may be fine with that, but I am not.

  7. I am only hoping for a high level backlash on any constraints against publishing whatever the fk satirists want to publish.
    The only way to fight back against this bolshat is to information bomb them with as much religiously offensive imagery and commentary as possible.
    Show them that these kinds of actions will only make what was a fringe publication matter, into a full blown offensive of imagery and blasphemous rhetoric as possible.
    Otherwise, these extremists will get the lesson and message that we are willing as a society to kowtow to their demands, and will shut up on anything they think they are offended by.

  8. Islam used to allow pictures of the prophet without incident (as long as it wasn’t for use in a mosque). It was only later that zealous idiots, weak in their own faith, began covering over the images with veils and the like.

    Islam once saved the West’s ass when it was busy destroying all knowledge that the Catholic church wanted banned. Islamic scholars saved much of our science from going up in flames. This is what religiously based societies usually do–limit or destroy knowledge, dissent, humor and justice.

    We need secular societies and secular laws. They are the best protectors of religious freedom. Religious people seem so weak in their belief. They are unable to tolerate hearing ideas that conflict with their own beliefs. How strong is one’s belief when that is the case? Religious people need to stand for freedom of religion and freedom of thought. If the only way you can believe in your god is to silence others, then your belief isn’t much.

    Secular people need to stand up for a secular society and stop accepting laws like this. Which god is being blasphemed today? What does he look like on the stand? How will he give testimony to having being offended?

  9. Anything anyone says could be an insult to someone else. Faculty at Universities have been advised not to tell another faculty, staff or student that they look nice. Most people don’t want to insult others, but it is inevitable if we want to be able to express alternative ideas.

  10. Kind of two sides to this. First, I just don’t think it’s a good idea to keep pissssing people off who are on the fringe. The lefty’s just keep thinking they can say whatever they want. And they can under the law. I could under the law while I was growing up, too, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t get hit in the mouth. I love Tina Fey, but I feel her remarks were not well-timed. She has a family, and I would think of them first–I think she lives in an entitled world where people don’t have to face reality. Kind of like the Charlie Hebdo guys. Evidently they new the pressure was on, but underestimated resourcefulness of those filled with hate.
    Second. While I don’t think people should actively incite others and expect no response–when someone does a heinous act, like the Charlie Hebdo situation, they should be blown straight to hell.

    1. slohrss99 – we might think of the Charlie Hebdo murders as the final straw against playing nice with terrorists.

  11. Ali Selim might think he can intimidate and control Ireland but he has met his match. He just gave the motherland a reason to retaliate and not just against the usual suspect of the British government. This should be interesting.

    1. The Irish are both good and bad about following rules/laws. This really could go either way. My guess is they don’t like to be threatened. They fought the British for close to a 1000 years, I don’t think the Muslims are going to be a problem.

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