Denmark Charges Man Under Blasphemy Law

I got this email from CFI and had to look at the calendar and make sure it was 2017, not 1817. Denmark, of all countries, has charged a man under a still-existing (why? For crying out loud, why?) blasphemy law for burning a copy of the Quran.

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/whateverjamesinstitches/6249798371
Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/whateverjamesinstitches/6249798371

The Center for Inquiry unequivocally condemned the charge of blasphemy brought by Danish prosecutors against a man for burning a copy of the Quran in an online video. CFI blasted the charge as an affront to the fundamental rights to freedom of belief and expression, and called upon Denmark to repeal its blasphemy law.

“The fundamental rights that allow a religious believer to freely profess the divinity of a holy book also allow someone else to defile that book, and still others to censure such an action,” said Michael De Dora, CFI’s main representative to the United Nations. “While the actions of the accused may be offensive and his sentiments ugly, real democracy is only possible with the freedom to criticize even the most deeply held beliefs.”

An outlier among Western nations in maintaining a law against blasphemy, Denmark has not prosecuted anyone under the law since 1971. In 2013, the European Union issued guidelines stating that the “right to freedom of religion or belief, as enshrined in relevant international standards, does not include the right to have a religion or a belief that is free from criticism or ridicule.” Two years later, the Danish parliament ordered a review of the country’s blasphemy law, but decided to keep it in place…

“Criminalizing displays critical of religions and other belief systems is incompatible with fundamental international human rights norms. We call upon the government of Denmark to drop these charges, repeal its blasphemy law, and set an example for other countries around the world,” said De Dora.

Blasphemy laws are totalitarian and barbaric and they must be universally outlawed if the human species wants to continue to progress.

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