February 16, 2006

Religion: Let's All Be Equal! (You First.)

Norway's parliment has just passed (or at least reaffirmed) an anti-blasphemy law, making it illegal to mock any religion in any medium on punishment off fines or jail time.

This is, to put it mildly, insane.

People can decide whether or not to publish images of Mohammed with a camel or Christ on a bike for all I care, that's up to them. If you don't think that such images should be prduced, convince me! A word of warning, though: I am an athiest, and as such theological arguements have little to no effect on me, so just repeating a mantra of "It's wrong" isn't going to work, dig?

In other news, Ezra Levant is an ignorant cunt whose only reason for publishing was to sell issues of his rag, nothing more.
No change there, then.

Back to the topic at hand: criticism isn't just the ability to say, well, what I just wrote. It's also the ability to give an opinion and have other opinions handed back to you. Personally, I don't much care for the thought that a theology can force changes in my life; but I know that if I can convince enough people that my own view is the better one, then the world (or at least my little portion of it) will lean a bit more my way than before. I also know that if I can't change the views of those around me, well, them's the breaks. What changes occur in my society may be slow, difficult, and often comprimised, but they have to work for the society as a whole.

There is no freedom of religion without freedom from religion.

Reason has to be applied to each case, rather than having some blanket law to outright ban unpleasant or contreversal topics. This is why I rather like Canada's hate laws being really astoundingly vague: precedent can't be set very easily, making any case tried under them difficult at best. It took years to get Ernst Zundel out of the country using them, which makes them just about right to me.

There was a boycott on Danish products by many Muslims after January, and I thing this was a reasonable (if slightly misguided) response to a series of cartoons, a couple of whom may be considered blasphemous. There has also been widespread rioting, arson, and deaths. This is not a response to some doodles, here; and anyone from Ezra to the Organization of the Islamic Conference who thinks that's all it's about is either seriously mistaken or wilfully blind.

The first person to hurl a curse instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.

The OIC is pressing for anti-blasphemy laws to be the foundation of a new UN resolution to wit:

According to the text of an OIC proposal, the new UN body should state clearly that the "defamation of religions and prophets is inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression" and that states, organizations and the media have a "responsibility in promoting tolerance and respect for religious and cultural values."

Just a few minor quibbles, here. First, who defines what the difference between criticism and defamation is, because banning criticism is also "inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression" if you hadn't noticed. Second is, of course, who says what prophets are to be included? If you worship this guy (disappointed he took down the flashing lights), is he now your prophet and thence beyond reproach? Are stand-up comics to be included? Don't be silly - of course they are. Bill Maher, you used to be going to Hell, now you're going to Gitmo.

How about my own goofy skits and babblings? Am I now destined for prison unless I remove my own tongue and any five fingers (my choice, as a sop to the liberals)?

As for states' responsibilities towards religious tolerance, I'll believe that when Muslim leaders stop seeing Jewish conspiracies under every rock, and when cartoons (ironic, no?) appearing in daily papers stop depicting Jews as murderous, baby eating Nazis.

Do we have a deal?


I just noticed that the text of the story I linked to has changed from eight hours ago. The quote I have above used to be on the linked page, and is now gone.


posted by Thursday at 1:35 am


Blogger ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi I´m Chriswab. Greatings from Germany,Bottrop !!

2:41 am  

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