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No Criticism of Religion Allowed

2009-01-26 14:26:08    |    Back    |    Blog

Come February, it will be 20 years since Salman Rushdie had to get full time protection from Muslim extremists, a protection he still lives with today.

We like to think that our society continuously evolves in to a more civilised place, but twenty years on, it's become so dangerous to speak your mind against Islam that a book like "Satanic Verses" never would have been published today.

We've become so afraid of insulting someone's precious religious feelings that we've started a form of self censorship that is in the process of strangling our freedom of speech. A German opera was cancelled because of fear of upsetting Muslims. Publication of the book The Jewel of Medina was cancelled for the very same reason, and the British publisher's house was fire bombed. And these are just two of many examples popping up in only the past two years.

In the view of all this, it's incredibly worrying that the Norwegian authorities are proposing a law that will make it possible to press charges if someone has made a "qualified attack on your personal beliefs." Not even the people who have made this proposition can give a clear definition of what a "qualified attack is."

Astri Aas-Hansen, a representative working in the Norwegian justice department, says that it's not personal feelings that will be a criteria for conviction if someone press charges against you for offending their personal beliefs. Excuse me? How can being offended not be a personal feeling? What sort of objective criteria can you use to measure the level of how much you've insulted someone?

So far the only support for this proposition has been from Astri Aas Hansen and, naturally, the Norwegian Muslim Council.The latter should not come as a surprise when you take in to a account that the Muslim dominated UN Security Council last year decided to begin the process of killing free speech. You see, you can't criticise Islam, because then you insult them. And you shouldn't be allowed to do that.

Now, as a heathen and a believer in freedom of expression, statements like that insults my personal feelings Where can I press charges?

Please sign the petition against the newly proposed law here.



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