Pakistani media is reporting a disturbing series of comments by Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui who has shown the danger of Sharia law and the erosion of the separation of mosque and state. Justice Siddiqui went on a religious rant recently in denouncing “disrespectful” comments on social media and pledged to treat all such blasphemers as terrorists.
We have previously discussed the shocking rollback of free speech in France in the name of combating hate and intolerant speech. The latest fine was imposed on Jean-Marie Le Pen, the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. His crime was calling Roma “smelly.” It was an offensive and prejudiced comment but the criminal prosecution of such insults demonstrates the slippery slope that France is now on — a slope that inevitably leaves to greater and greater speech control. This is the ninth time that Le Pen has been prosecuted for the crime of insulting other people or groups.
I have long been a critic of Supreme Court justices embracing the era of what I have called “the celebrity justice.” Justices are increasingly appearing before highly ideological groups and inappropriately discussing thinly veiled political subjects or even pending issues. She previously called President Trump as “faker.” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a notable recidivist in his type of conduct and does not appear to be deterred by criticism that she is undermining the integrity of the Court. She is back at it with a new interview with the BBC.
For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here. Now, Denmark has opened up its first blasphemy prosecution in 46 years. It is chilling evidence that the West is yielding to the pressure to curtail free speech in a crackdown on those who criticize or mock religion. In this case, a 42-year-old man protested what he viewed as the growing influence of Islam by setting a Quran on fire. The result is now a criminal charge for blasphemy as Denmark joins this worrisome trend.
There is an appeal filed in Dallas by a teacher, Resa Woodward, 38, who was fired because of her prior work in the adult film industry almost two decades ago. We have previously discussed such cases, which I find troubling because these are people who worked in a lawful industry. It is even more concerning when, as here, the individual claims that she was forced into the industry as a form of “sex slavery.”
We previously discussed the controversy over a painting by a constituent of Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay that depicted police as pigs in Ferguson, Missouri. As we discussed, the House had a right to remove the art and eventually did precisely that. However, before that decision from the House, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Cal.) took down the painting. Clay called for criminal charges. When the painting was rehung, another Republican member removed it. At the time, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said “We may just have to kick somebody’s ass and stop them. Then the architect stepped in and barred the hanging of the picture. Now Clay has announced that he will file a lawsuit challenging the actions of the House of Representatives. It is hard to see a strong legal basis for such a challenge. The odds heavily favor the House of Representatives in the action.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
What so far has proven to be a long ordeal for two men originally wanting only to be provided with a floral arrangement for this upcoming wedding, and also for florist Barronelle Stutzman who asserts her right to religious freedom by denying this service, has now come to another milestone in Washington.
A unanimous ruling by the Washington Supreme Court, the court denied Stutzman and her business, Arlene’s Flowers, INC’s assertions, ruling:
“…Discrimination based on same-sex marriage constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” and therefore held that “the conduct for which Stutzman was cited and fined in this case-refusing her commercially marketed wedding floral services to Ingersoll and Freed because theirs would be a same-sex wedding-constitutes sexual orientation discrimination under the WLAD.” (Washington Law Against Discrimination)