Muslim Scholars Demand International Blasphemy Laws

An influential group of Muslim scholars is demanding that the United Nations pass a law forbidding blasphemy on an international level, protecting the delicate sensibilities of religious people and their “prophets” and non-existent deities.

A leading Islamic organisation has called on the United Nations to make “contempt of religions” illegal and urged the West to protect Muslim communities following the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, headed by influential preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi, appealed to Muslims to continue peaceful protests against images of the Prophet Mohammed but “not to resort to any violence”…

In a statement released Tuesday, the union said there should be protection for “prophets” and urged Islamic countries to submit a draft law to the UN calling for defamation of religions to be outlawed.

The union said the UN should then issue a “law criminalising contempt of religions and the prophets and all the holy sites”.

It also called for the West “to protect Muslim communities from attacks, whether they are citizens or residents or visitors”.

We certainly ought to protect Muslim communities — every individual, actually, regardless of their religion — from attacks. But protect your beliefs from criticism? No fucking way. Get over yourselves.

"Good point.The invention of high student loans was another invention for lifelong indebtedness.It's not unusual ..."

Senate Tax Bill Would Raise Taxes ..."
"Trump won the Electoral College fair and square. Those are the rules, so suck it ..."

Another Hail Mary Pass Considered on ..."
"I realize it’s a completely different political culture, but customarily in Canada when a party ..."

Another Hail Mary Pass Considered on ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • peterh

    Such a law would need crafting to afford the same protection for any/all religions. It would be so generalized and vacuous as to be totally without meaning. Such idiots are turning Islam from a supposed religion of peace into the ultimate insecurity trip.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    Well all I can say is “sod God, fuck Jesus, screw Mohammed, bugger Buddha, and all the rest of the imaginary garbage”.

    Did I get that right?

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    So don’t offend the delicate sensibilities of people who believe in deities, but beat, whip and murder people who don’t believe in deities. The chutzpah knows no limits. Indeed, fuck all that.

  • DaveL

    I’m sure they’d be all for banning any published work that disparages, say, paganism or atheism, for instance, the Bible, and the Koran. Remember, anyone who says Pastafarianism is a phony religion only intended for satire is guilty of blaspheming His Noodly Appendage.

  • eamick

    This has been tried before with no discernible progress being made. Given the Charlie Hebdo violence, they’re dreaming if they think anyone will pay it any more heed this time.

  • dingojack

    And what of those of one religion that disparage another in response to a supposed slight from that other religion? Which should be arrested?

    How would one show actual harm or loss to your favourite ‘prophet’ or ‘deity’? How will they come to court to make their claims? Will they be allowed to be cross-examined? Can they be treated as being ‘hostile’ without the lawyers being charged under the same laws?

    Dingo

  • bushrat

    Does this mean that Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Atheism, Buddhism etc, etc will not be mocked or threatened by Muslim, umm “Scholars”, daily in media in the Middle East…no, I didn’t think so.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Has anyone ever managed to ask these guys in public how it happens that all other fields, such as politics, science, art, etc, can handle robust controversy, but religion (theirs in particular) is too frail to deal with any criticism whatsoever?

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    The satanists would enjoy the protection, especially if it extended to christian disparagement of their founder.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    “Stone the next man who says ‘jehova’!!”

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    The union said the UN should then issue a “law criminalising contempt of religions and the prophets and all the holy sites”.

    Thank goodness! All the holy sites have needed protection from verbal criticism for a while (“No loitering. No littering. No irreverence.”).

  • eric

    The union said the UN should then issue a “law criminalising contempt of religions and the prophets and all the holy sites”.

    Okay Union of Muslim Scholars, tell you what. You take all the antisemitism out of mideast textbooks, and then the rest of the world will seriously consider your request.

  • eric

    All the holy sites have needed protection from verbal criticism for a while

    Verbal abuse: it’s why the wailing wall wails.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Raif Badawi could not be reached for comment.

  • laurentweppe

    Remember, anyone who says Pastafarianism is a phony religion only intended for satire is guilty of blaspheming His Noodly Appendage.

    Of course it’s a blaspheme: now that pastafarian elected officials exist in western countries, Pastafarianism belongs to the Great Country Club of Powerful People’s Religions and therefore enjoys all the related privileges.

  • Sastra

    Pierce R. Butler #8 wrote:

    Has anyone ever managed to ask these guys in public how it happens that all other fields, such as politics, science, art, etc, can handle robust controversy, but religion (theirs in particular) is too frail to deal with any criticism whatsoever?

    The Pope already answered this. Criticizing religion is just like calling someone’s mother a name and it’s only natural to punch people in the face when they do that.

  • busterggi

    Now as the biggest critics of any religion are those who believe in a different religion this could mean that ALL god-botherers will have to shut-up and stop prostelytizing. I’d go along with that.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R2XG9CnOj8 Olav

    From the article:

    The union said the UN should then issue a “law criminalising contempt of religions and the prophets and all the holy sites”.

    Contempt of the holy sites, like this I presume:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aerial_View_of_Abraj_Al_Bait_Under_Construction.jpg

    I am as far from being a Muslim as the next atheist here, but even I think this is sacrilege. Or utter disrespect for cultural heritage at least.

  • Saad

    Marcus Ranum, #9

    The satanists would enjoy the protection, especially if it extended to christian disparagement of their founder.

    I’m not sure how happy these same Muslim scholars will be when they have to scrap the practice of throwing stones at Satan during Hajj.

  • moarscienceplz

    Does this mean that Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Atheism, Buddhism etc, etc will not be mocked or threatened by Muslim, umm “Scholars”, daily in media in the Middle East…no, I didn’t think so.

    Of course not. You can only blaspheme a true religion, not silly superstitions and fairy tales. Now let me get back to meditating about Mohammed (pbuh) riding his winged horse.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Now as the biggest critics of any religion are those who believe in a different religion this could mean that ALL god-botherers will have to shut-up and stop prostelytizing.

    It would mean nothing of the sort, since atheists, agnostics and other “nones” aren’t protected by this law.

  • dingojack

    Sastra — as English stand-up, Josh Widdicombe said: “Your mother’s so fat, we’ve had to re-name it the ‘fatican'”!

    ‘Let the Papal punch-up begin’. [pops pop-corn].

    Dingo

  • dingojack

    moarscienceplz – and Muslims would be equally respectful of Bellerophon and his winged steed, Pegasus, of course.

    Dingo

  • eric

    @18: I don’t get it. What are you offended about? It was the Saudis themselves that chose to build that thing right next to the Kaaba. Architecturally it might be in poor taste but they didn’t deface any particular historical landmark. Its not like they dynamited an ancient artifact, like the Taliban did.

  • abb3w

    My response: “Please get over your shock and outrage at encountering the notion that your religious beliefs may be overrated.”

    Hell, maybe that can be a new bus campaign slogan. We might even be able to get some Christians on board by pointing out that it can be applied to Atheism as well.

  • Nemo

    Never mind that the UN doesn’t have that kind of power anyway.

  • Nemo

    @eric #24:

    Architecturally it might be in poor taste but they didn’t deface any particular historical landmark.

    Ahem… “The complex was built after the demolition[2] of the Ajyad Fortress, the 18th-century Ottoman citadel which stood atop a hill overlooking the Grand Mosque. The destruction of the fort in 2002 by the Saudi government sparked Turkish and international outcry.[3]” — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraj_Al_Bait

  • Al Dente

    “law criminalising contempt of…all the holy sites”

    Like when the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan?

  • thebookofdave

    I foresee a huge expansion in growth potential for satire religions in the near future. The Pastafarians and Satanists shouldn’t waste any time planning for their international ministries.

    Has anyone ever managed to ask these guys in public how it happens that all other fields, such as politics, science, art, etc, can handle robust controversy, but religion (theirs in particular) is too frail to deal with any criticism whatsoever?

    It’s a good thing that god is merciful and just, Pierce R. Butler. That kind of anti-religious assault would get you only one hundred lashes.

  • lorn

    bushrat @ #7:

    “Does this mean that Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Atheism, Buddhism etc, etc will not be mocked or threatened by Muslim, umm “Scholars”, daily in media in the Middle East…no, I didn’t think so.”

    Exactly.

  • Lofty

    I declare Cycling to be the new Religion That May Not Be Criticised. We already have the funny clothes and funny hats. All Hail the great Prophet Raleigh.

  • observer

    Lofty @31, excellent choice for a religion. Every year we can make a pilgrimage, hereafter to be referred to as “going on a Trek.”

  • Saad

    Olav, 18

    Contempt of the holy sites, like this I presume:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aerial_View_of_Abraj_Al_Bait_Under_Construction.jpg

    I am as far from being a Muslim as the next atheist here, but even I think this is sacrilege. Or utter disrespect for cultural heritage at least.

    What’s the problem there?