The politics of blasphemy: Why Pakistan and some other Muslim countries are passing new blasphemy laws

By Ahmet T Kuru

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As modern-day historians Omid Safi and Frank Griffel assert, Ghazali’s declaration provided justification to Muslim sultans from the 12th century onward who wished to persecute – even execute – thinkers seen as threats to conservative religious rule.

Yes, it's a no brainer, "Politics 'n' Power 101", that making up more rules and laws and "moving goal posts" creates more "crimes" which gives people in positions of power and their hireling enforcers a "security blanket" for their fears and anxieties, which is in reality only a false sense of safety from the forces they fear: the natural aspirations of people for freedom and democracy. Thus,

 ...criminalizing blasphemy and apostasy is more political than it is religious. The Quran does not require punishing sacrilege: Authoritarian politics do.


4 ( +4 / -0 )

But Pakistan is a US ally so it gets a free pass. All the sanctimonious rhetoric about human rights abuses that the US administration spews doesn't apply here.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Countries that want blasphemy laws are welcome to them. The problem comes when they try to enforce those laws and standards in OTHER countries. Witness the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the persecution of Salman Rushdie, etc.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Back in the 1970s the editor of "The Gay times" was imprisoned under blasphemy laws in the UK for suggesting that Jesus and his followers were more than just friends.

Thankfully the UK has moved on from those times.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thankfully the UK has moved on from those times.

They've just swapped out blasphemy rules with "hate speech" laws.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You'd think that if God was all powerful, he could hand out the punishments himself. But he doesn't seem to care what we say. I wonder why.

They've just swapped out blasphemy rules with "hate speech" laws.

Not quite the same. The hate speech laws cover speech that is intended to harass, alarm, or distress others. I wonder if it covers the church minister telling me I'd go to hell if I didn't worship God when I was a young boy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How naïve. Islam is not only a few of peaceful and tolerant Quran verses.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But Pakistan is a US ally so it gets a free pass. 

Pakistan hasn't been a US ally in decades. They are aligned with China and mostly against the US.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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