Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Religion

Speaking of Religious Freedom

Many Muslim countries have "blasphemy laws" on the books which criminalize (usually with death) any speech or deed which offends the religious sensibilities of a Muslim. Western apologists usually rebut that very few people are actually put to death - but their defense usually fails to provide the all-important context: most people (non-Muslims) accused of blasphemy are quickly murdered by rioters or other Islamic jihadists.

Today, however, it seems one needn't speak blasphemy, but merely speak about blasphemy, in order to be summarily killed by jihadists. Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab and a leading politician in Pakistan's ruling party, was assassinated this morning after calling for moderation in blasphemy laws.

Naturally, these same laws are promulgated in the UN, where Islamic countries have successfully codified resolutions against the "defamation of religion," with the blessings of the world's leftist progressives. The latter have the dual enjoyment of favoring themselves noble for supporting religious tolerance while secretly knowing that they will be exempt from the oppression and abuse awaiting their Western religious opponents. International blasphemy laws ultimately suppress minority rights of worship and thought in Muslim countries - and those who escape murder will be, legally, imprisoned for the crime of being non-Muslim. (During one of the many Islamic terror attacks - Iraq, Nigeria, Egypt - over Christmas, witnesses walked on the dead while singing jihadi chants. These are the people entrusted to decide what Christian conduct offends Islam?) 

American liberals reacted to today's news by equating blasphemy laws with the Smithsonian's decision to remove offensive artwork after Christians objected. This is what passes for insight and wit on the left. Perhaps a better comparison would have been the Democrat's adored "hate crimes," which criminalizes thoughts (say, religious) which others (say, progressive atheists) find offensive. There is a reason gay-rights advocates in politics so dearly love the idea of criminalizing thought - vengeance.

Oppression and vengeance are the only goals of laws which punish religious expression.

Categories > Religion

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I wonder out loud whether opposing hate crime statutes and anti-blasphemy laws and UN resolutions might not be the most effective way to fight them. Perhaps in the current international climate of opinion a fight for consistency and equality should be the strategy. If the rights of both majority and minority opinions and beliefs should be respected, including Christians, Jews, Buddhists, non-believers of all sorts, how could the liberals disagree with that? Especially since most of those liberals could give a fiddler's flatulence for any religious belief, they would like their free-thinking to be respected as well. For the record, I am a Torah-observant ("Orthodox") Jew.

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