Islamphobia is being disguised and defended as “Free Speech“. I wonder if the Nazis used the same excuse when they were spewing venom against the Jews.
“Free Speech” is not sacrosanct in America or anywhere else in the world. There are exceptions.
1) In the US, one cannot shout “Fire” in a crowded theater. It is not considered “Free Speech”.
2) In the US, one could not publish the detailed plans to create a Nuclear Bomb. That was banned. (I am not proposing that it should be available (I am just making a point here)
3) While the detials on creating a bomb does exist in the Encyclopdia Britanica, a US citizen was disallowed to put in on the web.
4) In the US for decades the Native Americans, women and African Americans had no right to any speech (even though the First Amendment was in vogue).
5) Anti-Semitism is not considered feee speech and falls under a law unto itself.
6) hate speech is not considered Free Speech and is punishable under US law
7) Incitement to violence or murder is not considered Free Speech and is punishbale under US Law
8) While deragatory comments against Black, Women, Jews, Handicapped folks, Children may be technically allowed, but no politicians or artist can really make them and survive politcally
9) Pedophilia is not accepted as Free Speech and any communication encouraging it is not covered by the First Amendment
10) In Europe, anyone speaking against the Holocust is gagged. Holocust Denial is not covered under Free speech
11) Flying the Swastika is illegal is most European countries and is not considered Free Speech
12) Almost all European and other countries have Blasphemy Laws–though they are not used to prosecute. The point remins that there are limits to Free speech
13) Bullying in schools in whatever form is not covered under the First Amendment and there are laws against it.
14) Most recently the Frech magazine was prohibited from publishing nude pictures of the Royal family. So there are limits to free speech
Blasphemy Laws exist in almost all Western countries. In fact when British Muslims tried to invoke the UK Blaspheme Law, the courts there decided that British Balsphemey Laws only protected Chritianity and other religions remained unprotected.
Lets pick a few countries which have been in the news:
In Denmark, Paragraph 140 of the penal code is about blasphemy. The paragraph has not been used since 1938 when a Nazi group was convicted for antisemitic propaganda. The hate speech paragraph (266b) is used more frequently. Abolition of the blasphemy clause was proposed in 2004, but failed to gain a majority
In Austria, two sections of the penal code relate to blasphemy:
§ 188 : Vilification of Religious Teachings
§ 189 : Disturbance of Religious Practice
Sections 318, 319, and 320 of the Code forbid hate propaganda. “Hate propaganda” means “any writing, sign or visible representation that advocates or promotes genocide or the communication of which by any person would constitute an offence under section 319.” Section 318 prescribes imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years for anyone who advocates genocide. The Code defines genocide as the destruction of an “identifiable group.” The Code defines an “identifiable group” as “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Section 319 prescribes penalties from a fine to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years for anyone who incites hatred against any identifiable group. Section 320 allows a judge to confiscate publications which appear to be hate propaganda. Under section 319, an accused is not guilty: (a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true; (b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text; (c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or (d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands prohibits blasphemy by a provision in its penal code. Article 147 punishes (by up to three months in jail or a fine of the second category (i.e. up to €3,800)) anyone who publicly, orally or in writing or depiction, offends religious feelings by scornful blasphemy. Furthermore, article 429bis prohibits displaying blasphemous material at places visible from the public road. The law came into being in the 1930s after the Communist Party called for Christmas to be dropped from the list of state holidays. The last successful conviction under Article 147 took place in the early 1960s when a student newspaper was fined 100 guilders for satirizing the New Testament. The law against blasphemy complements laws against racial discrimination and incitement to violence.
In 1966, the Public Prosecution Service prosecuted Gerard Reve under Article 147. In his novel Nader tot U (Nearer to Thee), Reve describes the narrator’s sexual intercourse with God, who is incarnated in a donkey. The court of first instance convicted Reve. He appealed. In April 1968, an appeal court quashed the conviction.
In November 2008, Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin expressed the country’s coalition government’s intent to repeal Article 147. He said the government would strengthen the legislation against discrimination to prohibit any insult to any group of people. In May 2009, the government decided to leave the law as it is. The decision followed a high court ruling in which a man who had put up a poster that read “stop the tumour that is Islam” was found not guilty of insulting a group of people on the grounds of their religion
Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania have laws that make reference to blasphemy. Some US states still have blasphemy laws on the books from the founding days. For example, Chapter 272 of the Massachusetts General Laws — a provision based on a similar colonial era Massachusetts Bay statute enacted in 1697 — states:
Section 36. Whoever willfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, His creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.The history of Maryland’s blasphemy statutes suggests that even into the 1930s, the First Amendment was not recognized as preventing states from passing such laws. An 1879 codification of Maryland statutes prohibited blasphemy:
Art. 72, sec. 189. If any person, by writing or speaking, shall blaspheme or curse God, or shall write or utter any profane words of and concerning our Saviour, Jesus Christ, or of and concerning the Trinity, or any of the persons thereof, he shall, on conviction, be fined not more than one hundred dollars, or imprisoned not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned as aforesaid, at the discretion of the court.
According to the marginalia, this statute was adopted in 1819, and a similar law dates back to 1723. In 1904, the statute was still on the books at Art. 27, sec. 20, unaltered in text. As late as 1939, this statute was still the law of Maryland. But in 1972, in Maryland v. Irving K. West, the Maryland Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) declared the blasphemy law unconstitutionalPennsylvania enacted a law against blasphemy in 1977. In the fall of 2007, George Kalman sent the completed forms for incorporating a company to the Pennsylvania Department of State. Kalman wanted to incorporate a movie-production company which he called I Choose Hell Productions, LLC. A week later, Kalman received a notice from the Pennsylvania Department of State which informed him that his forms could not be accepted because a business name “may not contain words that constitute blasphemy, profane cursing or swearing or that profane the Lord’s name.” In February 2009, Kalman filed suit to have the provision against blasphemy struck down as unconstitutional. On June 30, 2010, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Bayslon of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in a 68-page Opinion, ruled in favor of Kalman, finding that the Pennsylvania’s blasphemy statute violated both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
Here are examplesof enforecement of Blasphemy Laws in the USA
Didn’t the National Portrait Gallery–heavily funded by the American taxpayer–just pull an item from a privately funded exhibit because it offended some Christians? In early December, an 11-second video clip of ants crawling over a crucified Jesus was removed after complaints by the Catholic League and a comment by then soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner that the video was a misuse of taxpayer money. U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) then called for Congress to launch an official investigation into the matter
Muslims are saying
a) “Elevate Islamphobia to the same level as Anti-Semitism and give it the same protection”
b) “Consider blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad, Moses, Jesus, David, and against Budha, Krishna and others as hate speech” and do not allow it. This is simple and should be considered as a legal basis to stop the agression against Islam.