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Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN 957

Posted by samzenpus
from the sticks-and-stones dept.
eldavojohn writes "An article published in Pakistan's Daily Times contains several quotes from Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf indicating his intent to push for international blasphemy laws in both the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Co-operation (57 countries). These comments came shortly after Pakistan's 'Day of Love for the Prophet' turned into riots that left 19 people dead and, of course, this all follows the extended trailers of 'Innocence of Muslims' being translated. Questionable circumstances surround who is prosecuted under these 'blasphemy laws' and what kind of fear they instill in Pakistan's minorities. The UN's Human Rights Charter mentions protection from 'religious intolerance' but also in the same sentence 'freedom of opinion and expression.'"
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Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

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  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:07AM (#41436217)

    Blasphemy is used to Pakistan to settle scores between feuding parties: http://www.economist.com/node/21562262 [economist.com]

    He should maybe clean that up first, before trying to impose that on the rest of the world.

    Oh, and by the way, being left-handed is also blasphemous in Islam: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/82120 [islamqa.info]

  • by safehaven25 (2587445) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:08AM (#41436243)
    Evolution isn't a proper noun, and their actions aren't intended in the slightest to gain respect... what the hell are you talking about, besides letting out your rage on an internet forum?
  • Umm... (Score:4, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:15AM (#41436339) Journal

    Blasphemy isn't 'religious intolerance'; but banning blasphemy is fairly obviously contrary to 'freedom of expression and opinion'. There, that was easy.

    Incidentally, since most religions contain significant incompatibilities(on occasion, you get organizational splits purely because of personality spats or disputes over who gets the earthly loot; but all the really good schisms are over doctrine), the practice of almost any religion is necessarily blasphemous(at least by implication, often quite overtly) toward almost all the others.

    In practice, of course, anti-blasphemy laws are usually just an excuse to suppress the minorities and the dissidents; but it would be (morbidly) amusing to watch the epic pileup that would occur if one were actually applied rigorously... There would also be some fun around statements that are simultaneously likely to arouse ire and are confirmed by assorted holy texts, the denial of which would also cause ire(Anything concerning the fact that the god of the old testament is kind of a genocidal psycho, or that Mohammed fucked a nine year old, would qualify, as would, no doubt, an endless number of subtler doctrinal quibbles between more enthusiastic sects).

  • Re:Fahrenheit 451 (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbolden (176878) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:23AM (#41436445) Homepage

    The reason he is calling for blaspheme laws is because free expression is coming to Pakistan and is freaking subgroups out. This is quite the opposite of censorship, this is what its collapse looks like.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tx (96709) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:25AM (#41436469) Journal

    "They already have. Most don't like the video, but also don't like the rioting. Problem is, how can they stop it? And how are they supposed to make a statement disowning them? "

    Trouble is, there seem there don't seem to be enough of the non-crazy Muslims in some countries. When you have a government minister in Pakistan offering a $100000 bounty for the murder of a foreign civilian, and he's not instantly dismissed, you have a serious problem. He can do that because a large majority of the population back those views, and he knows it. In Pakistan, not so long ago considered an ally of the west, the crazy extremist types are very much in the ascendant, and a lot of Muslim countries seem to be heading that way. It's not just a small minority of crazies making a lot of noise, it's a large majority of them.

  • Re:RULE 34 (Score:3, Informative)

    by BriggsBU (1138021) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:26AM (#41436485)
    Rule 34: "There is porn of it. No exceptions."
  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:27AM (#41436523)

    Islam also says that, if you bring someone into your house, you have to protect them from harm. One of it's central tenets(one of the Pillars) is charity. During the Middle ages, the Middle East under Islam was one of the safest places in the world to live in if you were Jewish, much more so than in Europe. During the Crusades Muslims allowed Christians and Jews to practice their religions freely, paying only a small tax, while Christian crusaders generally enforced a convert or die approach.

    And for the record, the Old Testament of the Bible also condones and recommends killing to spread the religion, or even just to take land that you want, and it's ok as long as they don't believe.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:32AM (#41436589)

    the underlying theme in koran writings IS that the dhimmis (ie, all of us non-moslems) are to be conquered or killed. eventually. until then, they are allowed to lie to us and do whatever it takes in order to secure their future.

    LOOK IT UP.

    I wish I was kidding. this is nasty, ugly shit, but its the basic overall guiding concept. it really is ;(

    no peace can be made with belief systems like that.

    (cue the deniers in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

  • Assholes ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:41AM (#41436725)

    Sorry, but if one of the government ministers of Pakistan is offering a $100K bounty for the lives of these people, then he's a terrorist.

    If Pakistan and other Muslim countries can't do anything but act as terrorists, it's time we treated them as such. That includes their government as Pakistan seems to go a long way to supporting terrorists.

    There's no right to not be offended, and despite claims to the contrary, Islam doesn't exactly demonstrate itself to be a religion of peace and tolerance.

    It may be peaceful at its core, but largely been co-opted by intolerant, ignorant, and violent assholes. If this is truly what Mohammed taught, then he was a false prophet.

    Muslims are supposed to respect the peoples of the book. Instead, they've decided that Christians and Jews pray to a different god (it's the same one) and should be exterminated.

    Islam doesn't deserve respect as we see it from around the world. Instead it presents itself as a cancer.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dskoll (99328) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:48AM (#41436841)

    Then you don't know anything about Islam other than what you think you've learned from news sites and CNN.

    Go read the Qu'ran. There are plenty of instances [quran.com] in which religiously-motivated violence is condoned or even instructed [quran.com]. Of course, the apologists will immediately cite other examples from the Qu'ran that contradict that. The nice thing about Islam is that its followers can pick and choose: Show the peaceful bits to the ignorant dhimmi and the violent bits to the true followers. You'll never get a straight answer.

    This is not unique to Islam, of course. Most religions have similar contradictions that allow believers to pick-and-choose according to the situation and the audience. The problem is that currently, Islam's violent underpinnings are causing far more problems for the world than the violent underpinnings of other religions.

  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:08AM (#41437153) Journal
    Osama wasnt a civilian. He took up arms against a nation-state. That is a soldier.
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:30AM (#41437525) Homepage Journal

    Nope, you can tolerate something and still actively speak against it. Attempting to convince people they are wrong about something is harmless. It breaks into intolerance when you suggest or take action(be it legislative, violent, or manipulative) against a group.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:01PM (#41438047) Journal
    Those were huge statues of Buddha. Some 200 or 300 feet tall. Carved into niches of rock face of a hill. Something like Petra. They were in Afghanistan. They were 1500 years old. And the Taliban decided to dynamite them.

    Government of Sri Lanka begged the Taliban government to let them carve and carry off the whole statue if they did not want it in their Islamic land. Japan offered to cover the whole statue behind a wall of concrete if they did not want to see it.

    The Taliban refused all such overtures, and dynamited those historical figures. Where were all these Muslims who demand the world respect their prophet? Would this new blasphemy law prevent Saudi Government from disfiguring images of Hindu/Buddist/Sikh/Jain Gods or holymen found in books and magazines carried by workers traveling into Saudi Arabia?

    The double standards from the fanatics is understandable. But the double standards from those claiming to be moderates is infuriating. I am with Bill Maher in this. All religions are not the same. No other religion demands the right impose its rules on people who do not belong to their religion. All the moderates talk in English to the west explaining why the fanatics are outraged. Yes, the fanatics will be always outraged. It is the job of the moderates to control the damned fanatics. If you can't, stop demanding to be treated like other religions.

    Well, the Bamian Buddha is powerful. He got rid of Taliban within a year of His statute being demolished. Buddha will rid Afghanistan of Islam in due course.

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:34PM (#41438653) Homepage

    Functionally he was a soldier, but per the 3rd Geneva Convention article 4 he wasn't as he didn't fulfill all the requirements to meet the definition.

    4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:
    that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
    that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);
    that of carrying arms openly;
    that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:42PM (#41438777) Homepage Journal
    Actually. the problem with Islam is the followers cannot pick and choose.

    2:106: None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?

    What that passage, and other similar passages in the Quran. have been interpreted to mean is that if two verses contradict each other, the latter verse abrogates (cancels) the previous. As the verse implies. Allah can do all things, including change his mind (or as believers would argue, change his commands to better suit changing times). Now the Quran is not arranged chronologically but i'll give you a hint what the last written chapter is. Sura 9 [quran.com]. This means that all that peaceful stuff earlier in the Quran, written when Muslims were a minority in Mecca and it was convenient to preach tolerance towards religion were all cancelled by verses like 9:5. There shall be no compulsion in religion? Gone. Thankfully not all Muslims know about abrogation and of those who do, only a minority take seriously.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:50PM (#41438935) Homepage Journal

    Who grades the evaluation?

    You.

    Stop being intentionally obtuse - it does nothing to further your point, and only serves to make yourself look like a pedantic jackass.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Monday September 24, 2012 @02:06PM (#41440121) Homepage Journal

    Then why do half of all scientists consider themselves Christian?

    At least if you're talking about in the US, I think you're overstating the number quite a bit. But even if it's true, considerably more than half of the US population as a whole identifies as Christian, so there's still a pretty strong negative correlation between being a scientist and being a Christian, or religious in any form [pewforum.org].

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) on Monday September 24, 2012 @02:11PM (#41440181)
    Although you are right in the point that both books write about violence and other more horrible acts, there IS a difference, and it is this:

    First of all the bible is written in two distinct parts; the old testament and the new one. It is quite possibly the old testament that contains most violent and horrible acts. The old testament describes a god that is vengeful and grim. The smallest mischief and its all fire and brimstone on your puny little ass. Nevertheless, it is god himself who does that, and on those occasions when humans thought they could (or should) be violent, god intervened. This starts with Abel and Cain, where the latter killed the former, and he is punished by god. Even with Sodom & Gomorrah it is God who does all the killing NOT humans.
    Then there is the new testament. In part two of this novel a young protagonist has been send to right some wrongs. First he points out that he intimately knows the main character of part one personally and that he isn't half as bad-assed as described in part one. He goes on telling that God actually wants people to love each other. Casting of the first stone, turn the other cheek, love your neighbour as yourself, be nice to prostitutes and even the guy's from the IRS etcetera etcetera... the list goes on... Then he is treated very unfriendly and goes home.

    Then there is the Koran, This could be viewed as part 3 of the trilogy, OR as a re-write of part 1 & 2 with an alternative ending. Now to come to a good understanding of this book one should read it at least two times, because the chapters are not chronological but sorted in length. This was more convenient to... well who knows? Anyway, it is important to read it twice, first to have an overview, second time to understand the context of each chapter.
    Here God is portrayed as a bad-assed mofo again, but this time he is more like a got-father who tell's people (Muslims) to be violent against non-people (non-muslims). He goes so far as to call non-muslims monkeys and pigs, man he is ill-tempered! That violence is almost always in the form of killing, wich is commanded to the believer, can be found here (Sura 2:191), here (Sura 5:33), here (Sura 8:12), here (Sura 8:60*), here (Sura 8:65), here (Sura 9:5), here (9:29*), here (Sura 9: 123*) and finally here (47:4). Marked * are disputable, it all depends a bit which translation is being used one can be found here: http://www.universalunity.net/English_Translation_By_R_Khalifa.htm

    In short, the difference is that in Christianity being violent is God's job (and no one else's), in the Quran being violent is the job of the believer. There are scores of Christians who want to help God a little (wrongfully if they had read their book) and scores of Muslims who do not kill anyone (wrongfully if they had read their book).
  • by Dr. Hellno (1159307) on Monday September 24, 2012 @07:58PM (#41444457)
    Corroboration: this story [thisamericanlife.org] from This American Life. The first act has a few funny anecdotes about absurd things people believed for longer than would seem plausible.

    Kristy Kruger: It was about a group of five to seven people, kind of standing around the keg, just talking. And somehow a discussion of endangered species came up, in which I posed the question, is the unicorn endangered or extinct? And basically, there was a big gap of silence [...]and then everybody laughed. And then that laughter was followed by more silence when they realized I wasn't laughing. And I was like, yeah, oh God, unicorns aren't real? Oh no.

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