Turkey Prosecutes Blasphemy Too

Here’s yet another blasphemy prosecution in a Muslim country, but this one is in Turkey, which is supposed to be — and is, in most ways — the most secular Muslim country in the world (which isn’t exactly a high bar; that’s like being the friendliest serial killer in the world):

In Turkey, Fazil Say, popular composer and performer, is on trial for insulting Islam. The internationally known artist is being prosecuted under laws against inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims. Say rejects the charges, and demands his right to freely express himself in what is supposed to be a secular country.

On Thursday, October 18, a Turkish court adjourned the blasphemy trial of Fazil Say until February, after rejecting calls for an acquittal. Prosecutors initially brought charges against Say in June. Say faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison although informed observers believe any sentence is likely to be suspended.

That’s at least a lower punishment than most Muslim countries have, but it’s still a far cry from free speech.

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