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Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN 957

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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  • RULE 34 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:05AM (#41436191)

    Before all this nonsense I didn't give a damn about islam or muhammed one way or the other, considered myself a fairly tolerant human being. Live and let live and all that shit.

    Now I'm wondering how and why Rule 34 hasn't been judiciously applied to islam. Over and over again.

    Motherfuckers need to grow the fuck up.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:15AM (#41436329)

    Please, will the sensible and non-crazy muslims please stand up already and disown these lunatics?

    But not to protest would be blasphemy, you could be convicted for it [csmonitor.com]. Hell, if this law takes affect we might all have to do a Muzzie and riot or risk prosecution.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:18AM (#41436369) Journal

    That is indeed the meme shift underway.

    In the west, politics has taken over from religion in arrogating onto itself the power to force its views on everyone. This is reflected in things like the First Amendment.

    This process needs to happen over there. Do not allow it to grab more power.

    Next step: stripping it from politics. This was done once but it clawed its way back in. Politics and religion generate the same angers not because they are similar, but because they are the exact same phenomenon

  • This 'religious tolerance' thing is exactly what these rioting mobs are not demonstrating. Religious tolerance does not mean that you don't have to hear anything you don't like about your religion. It means that you do not suffer political or economic repression for your religious beliefs. That's it.

    So I'm sorry (well, no, I'm not really) but no. This absolutely will not fly. I don't care what kind of weaponry people who think rioting over an insult to their religion acquire. They must never be allowed control under any circumstances. This kind of behavior is flat out unacceptable and intolerable. I will never in any way support it and nobody else should either.

    Fix your own worldview, because you will not get to impose it on everybody else. I will never agree to it.

  • Pakistan = GOP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:21AM (#41436405)

    The situation in Pakistan is very similar to what is happening within the GOP, namely that through a process of political decay, they have gradually become beholden to the fringe elements of the community. At some point you pass a threshold where events conspire to turn everything into a self-fulfiling prophecy, especially when it becomes an "us versum them" scenario. So instead of reject the fringe elements and reevaluating their position (the healthy choice), they double down.

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:26AM (#41436493)

    Please be careful signing up to do something antithetical to your core morality, just if somebody else will do something you are sure they will never do. They could call you on it. Nobody should ever sign up for anti-blasphemy legislation under ANY hypothetical condition.

    Just tell them you will CONSIDER their demand when they clean up their own act. I would say one second of fair and honorable consideration, followed by a REJECTED sticker, would then fulfill the bargain and leave one's own core morality uncompromised.

  • Fuck that (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:28AM (#41436531) Homepage Journal

    Mohammed was a warmongering, misogynistic, bigoted pedophile, and Allah is a lie. Islam is a religion bent on destruction, murder, and world conquest. Fuck Islam.

    Muslims, read the above. Know it's not a religion of peace because Mohammed taught the principle of abrogation, where the newer writings overrule the older writings where they conflict, and while in the beginning he was peaceful and had good relations with the Jews he grew up with, he later became warlike, hateful, bigoted, and a massive megalomaniac on the scale of Stalin, Hitler, and pretty much every other evil historical figure you can think of, and his writings changed to match his philosophy, hence the jihad changed from one's internal struggle of conquering human nature's evil characteristics to world conquest, He wrote of converting people by the sword if they won't accept his stupid book, and he also preached that Muslims should kill the Saturday people (Jews) and the Sunday people (Christians) since they were friends to the Jews.

    Again: Mohammed was flat-out wrong. Allah is a myth. Islam is a religion of hate.

    Take that, Pakistan! I just blasphemed your ass to next Tuesday.

  • 1. someone insults islam. could be erudite high culture, like salman rushdie, could be a useless troll, like the "innocence of the muslims" hatemonger. doesn't matter

    2. the muslim world goes apeshit. moderate muslims say the muslims going apeshit do more damage to islam than the insult to islam. they're right. doesn't matter

    3. someone from the west, or in the west, gets killed. this matters

    see, it doesn't matter if you believe that you should be able to say anything you want and it doesn't give anyone else the right to kill you. because there's a large group of extremists who believe that if you insult their religion, this gives them the right, no, the duty, to kill someone, ANYONE from the west. because if some low iq asocial reject who hasn't washed in a week draws a lame cartoon or writes a bad play about muhammad in his mom's basement, this represents the entire west. the reject's basement could be in hamburg. could be in sydney. could be in vancouver. doesn't matter: the entire western "tribe" attacked the honor of the entire muslim "tribe". that's the way it works in their head. now it is ok to kill someone from that tribe, anywhere, anytime. to restore honor. that's the "logic"

    yes, this is some ignorant medieval shit, i agree. but that doesn't matter. what matters is that there is a large group of medieval ignorants who can not be reasoned with who will firmly and dependably adhere to this dynamic

    this will go on and on for decades. what i fear is that it accelerates and destabilizes a country into the hands of a muslim version of hitler

    i try to be an optimistic person in life. that you can solve problems nonviolently. but this is a small planet, getting smaller, because of jet air travel and the internet. and not that we shouldn't aim for peace, but that peace is not possible, due to the determination of a fringe, but a fringe of enough financial backings, sympathies across large enough of a population, and over a dynamic of many decades, whereby large scale bloodshed comes, despite the best efforts of everyone sane otherwise

    muslim moderates, in the muslim world and the west: you can not hide from these fools. you have to fight for your lands. this will make you targets, and a lot of you will be targeted and killed for not being properly devout. but the alternative is these dipshits come to power, and then it is large scale conflict with the west, and it will make wwii look like a tea party. please: take your lands away from these assholes. it will be very difficult. you understand the alternative is worse

    what i fear is simple: fortune favors the bold

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by alexgieg ( 948359 ) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:44AM (#41436779) Homepage

    It seems to me that Islam does condone (hell no, recommend) the use of violence to spread Islam.

    It depends. It certainly believes that a worldwide Islamic government would be the bestest thing ever, and approves the use of force to get there, but that doesn't directly translate into forcing people to convert. Islamic countries have a long history of keeping several non-Islamic religious groups within its borders, all of them relatively untouched, unharmed, and even with self-governing rights (as long as they recognized their Islamic overlords as being the legitimate rulers, didn't dare trying to convert any Muslim to their faith, REALLY didn't dare offend Islam, and paid their special "2nd-class non-citizen" tax). So, in a way Islam had the first set of rules at something resembling "religious freedom" (as in "freedom to practice") mindset in the pre-Enlightenment world, so much so that it was quite common for European religious minorities to migrate to Islamic countries when things got really bad in Europe, kind of like when nowadays a North Korean dissident runs to China to escape oppression: from his perspective, a huge improvement; from ours, not so much. Evidently, at some point things in Europe started to improve at a faster rate than in the Middle East Islam, then surpassed them, and now we're the ones who look at them as the oppressive bad guys.

    So, not so much the use of violence to spread Islam, but the use of violence to spread Sharia law, which, although a closely related subject, isn't quite the same thing.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:46AM (#41436797) Journal

    Funny, so you mention the crusades but not the Otoman empire? Wonder why you tell only one side of a story.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:04AM (#41437097)

    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.


    Are you sure you are not interpreting the Koran -- assuming you've read it -- through the Christian Protestant, and in particular, fundamentalist, lens of sola scriptura, that is, that the holy book contains all necessary knowledge of the faith? Are you sure that this is also the Islamic standard of exegesis as well?

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:12AM (#41437189) Homepage Journal

    i always found it interesting and weird that:

    1. islam initially spread through violent conquest (the middle east), then later through peaceful conversion (bangladesh, indonesia)

    2. while christianity initially spread through peaceful conversion (the mediterranean), then later through violent conquest (south and central america)

    now the christian world is increasingly peaceful, while the muslim world is increasingly violent

    it's a weird historical contrast

  • by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:20AM (#41437329) Homepage Journal

    there are a lot of moderate muslims. there is also a heck of a lot of extremist muslims. it's hard for the moderates to exercise restraint and power when they aren't actually fully in power

    it's also hard to say "calm down" when the other guy feels fully justified in putting a bullet in your head because you are not adequately devout, of the wrong sect, too western sounding/ looking, etc.

    if you want to talk media spin, here it is: when a muslim extremist kills a westerner, the western media goes apeshit. when a muslim extremist kills a moderate muslim, you don't hear about it. but eh latter happens 10-100x more than the former. because the simple truth, by orders of magnitude, is that the greatest victim of muslim extremist terrorism, is other muslims. moderate muslims. they are literally being killed off if not cowed by fear

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:28AM (#41437499) Journal

    You can actually generalize that a bit: 'tolerance' is really only a coherent concept with regard to certain classes of stimuli.

    It is, at best, weird to speak of 'tolerance' of things you like. Nobody really talks about 'tolerating' things that they like. They don't not-tolerate them; but they don't tolerate them in any meaningful way.

    It is downright incorrect to speak of 'tolerance' of things that are deemed to be beyond the pale. You don't 'tolerate' murderers or critical security flaws; not because you are 'intolerant'; but because such things are not accorded toleration.

    It's only the intermediate class of things, things that are distasteful, unpleasant, etc; but are accorded some sort of right(or some sort of inevitability, in context, as with the squeaky vent that Facilities is never going to fix), that you can meaningfully 'tolerate', and the degree to which you do so determines how 'tolerant' or 'intolerant' you are(the medical usage semi-overlaps here, in that the less responsive to a given drug you are, the greater your tolerance to it is said to be, just as the less responsive to a given negative stimulus you are, the greater your tolerance is said to be).

    The tricky thing is that, in practice, 'tolerance' is forced to carry two(quite distinct) meanings: The one is strictly a measure of how you endure the third class of negative-but-not-eradicable stimuli. The second is your system of classification for these three categories. That's a wholly different thing; but it has to coexist in the same word.

    In the example you give(assuming the participants are actually sincere, that line frequently isn't), you really have an argument over whether or not homophobia is a class II or class III phenomenon: If it is class III, then failure to tolerate it is intolerance. If it is class II, failure to tolerate it is simple moral clarity. (There may also be a secondary argument over what exactly 'tolerance' means: There are definitely social circles that you will be frozen out of for socially retrograde attitudes; but the Leftist firebombing campaign against southern baptist churches just hasn't panned out... Exactly how polite you are required to be to count as 'tolerant' is a somewhat unsettled question).

    Inconveniently, the case of the Blasphemy Police vs. freedom of expression is probably fairly similar. Nobody seems to be saying "Yup, I think that everyone deserves freedom of expression; but I Just Can't Stand It when I see a picture of Mohammed as a drag queen and I flip out, I'm intolerant, I guess." They are, rather, saying that blasphemy, at least against their favorites, is outside the set of phenomena to which tolerance applies. Inconveniently, while somebody's degree of 'tolerance' relative to a pre-supplied set assignment is measureable, and you can argue for or against given actions and policies based on how tolerant they are, the set assignment itself is basically in the same boat as the rest of moral philosophy: little more than handwaving and appeals to 'intuition' or emotion, or imaginary friends.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:32AM (#41437567)
    I guess you didn't realize this amazingly advanced logic but as a christian, compared to muslims, one of us is correct and one is not. There is no "tolerance" when both religions demand that there be no other fake religions. The only person who can truly promote "tolerance" is one who thinks we're both wrong and that's atheists, which is around 18% of the US and the US is not rules by an 18% majority system. So we disagree, deal with it.
  • Re:Blasphemy! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tilante ( 2547392 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:52AM (#41437879)
    That Creator, however, is not necessarily a god -- it could be an evolutionary process.
  • by nege ( 263655 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:53AM (#41437903) Journal

    I'm a Christian and I completely agree with you. Many "Christians" don't even read the Bible. Also, going to church doesn't make one a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scamper_22 ( 1073470 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:02PM (#41438053)

    Sensible, non-crazy, fairly secular Muslim here.

    I've spoken out in favor of free-speech and reform... but you know what. I'm tired of people like you thinking us other Muslims can somehow fix the 'crazy' Muslims.

    There is a reasonable reading of the Islamic text that does mean, you need to spread the Islamic state and when in a position of power to enforce blasphemy laws. This is simply a rather orthodox Islamic position.

    So, I can't 'convince' the 'extreme' Muslims to go against a pretty reasonable reading of the texts. The same text that says pray 5 times a day and tells Muslims how to pray is the same one that tell Muslim women to put on the veil and spread the Islamic state.

    FYI... Islam is not just the Koran. You need the Hadith as well. Hint... the Koran never even says pray 5 times a day. The Koran says follow Mohamed... so what Mohamed did is recorded in the Hadith. Most of what Muslims actually practice is in the Hadith.

    Now that I've given you some background.
    Let me tell you who you should turn your demands towards. Your ridiculous governments who have such a perverse view of rights.

    Religious rights are extreme. As long as someone can say something is part of their religion... somehow that means they should be able to do it.

    Let me tell you how I see it. I live in Canada. Not exactly land of liberty, but a pretty free country.

    This is a country where the government takes control of healthcare, can actually deny me treatment, can control a restaurants use of transfat oil, can send me to jail for smoking a plant, takes half my income to fund, can send in child-care workers if I spank my child, monopolizes the school system...

    My point of all this is not to complain about my rights being infringed or anything. Just to show how much government interferes with my 'rights' already.

    Yet this same government finds it a violation of 'rights' to tell Muslim women they can't wear the niqab. Yeah, which does more social harm. Me wanting to eat fish and chip cooked with transfat oil... or a Muslim women possibly being forced to wear the niqab due to social customs and isolating her and preventing social cohesion.

    And do you know who sits on all these government bureaucracies. It's not us Muslims. It's your fellow 'white' Canadians or American. Who sits on Human rights tribunals or drafts legislation?

    We have real social issues in the Muslim community. And you 'white Canadians/Americans' actually work to support the 'extremists'. You don't stand up for your Western values... then you suddenly demand us 'moderate' Muslims do everything for you.

    Classic Blasphemy example with this video. It pits freedom of speech against a theocracy. And what does the leader of the free world say? What does Barack Obama say? Does he come out in strong support of Free Speech and Western Values? What does Hilary Clinton say? They spend their effort talking about how offensive the film is.

    Heck, even George Bush... the so called... 'cowboy' barely stood up for Western values.

    Heck, I wonder if Nazism was a religion today, if you Western people wouldn't just sit there trying to be tolerant of it in the name of freedom of religion.

    The only people standing up for Western values are the 'crazy' white people... as you would probably call them. In the UK... it's the EDL. In the US, prolly people you'd refer to as rednecks. In Canada... its our 'rednecks'.

    So pardon me for not going out of my way anymore.
    I was born Muslim. I care about my people and my community, but I've stopped caring. I don't care anymore if you think Islam is a horrible religion. I don't care to defend it. I'm just tired.

    If you Western people won't even stand up for your values and way of life... why should I?

  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:03PM (#41438079)

    from your same source: 1. belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny

  • by asifyoucare ( 302582 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:04PM (#41438107)

    ... but anyone who calls himself Christian who "hates fags" is fooling himself and needs to read the New Testament ...

    Perhaps they could start by reading Romans 1:27.

    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    Why just the new testament BTW? Leviticus says gays should be killed.

    I'm neither gay nor christian, but I'd have a hard time reconciling them if I was.

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:36PM (#41438691) Journal

    You should maybe read the Bible before quoting it.

    "judge not" has a great deal of context around it and does not mean "judge not" at all. It means you will be held to whatever standards you hold others. Its really more about our tenancy to rationalize our own ill behavior and to remind us to be "open minded" about the acts of others as they may very well have a reason for what they do. Don't demand the head of a man for stealing a loaf of bread, he might be desperately poor with starving child at home. Someday you might be in the same situation and you would want a little forgiveness and understanding.

    If there is something you believe is so wrong that you yourself would never ever do it no matter what, hope to die (and its otherwise consistent with the new testament), than its completely okay as a Christian for you to judge another for it, even harshly.

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @12:49PM (#41438917) Homepage

    I don't know much about Iran or Baha'i, so I can't comment,

    Then it's time you learned. [wikipedia.org]

    I went to university with a guy from Iran who literally escaped death by fleeing overland to Afghanistan, thence Pakistan and finally Canada. He had to redo his entire engineering degree because the Iranian officials who wanted him dead would not release proof that he had graduated from university in Iran.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @01:12PM (#41439285) Journal

    Inconveniently, while somebody's degree of 'tolerance' relative to a pre-supplied set assignment is measureable, and you can argue for or against given actions and policies based on how tolerant they are, the set assignment itself is basically in the same boat as the rest of moral philosophy: little more than handwaving and appeals to 'intuition' or emotion, or imaginary friends.

    No, you can easily come up with empirical measures to determine whether something should be tolerated. Does it materially harm anyone other than the person doing it? If not, it must be tolerated. I don't see anyone claiming that blasphemy causes anyone any specific harm, so it must be tolerated.

    You also don't give philosophy enough credit. Remember, logic is a branch of philososphy. And we can make irrefutable logical arguments about what should be tolerated. Assume for the sake of argument that causing someone offense should not be tolerated. You would then advocate for laws against offense. However, I find such laws themselves offensive, as offensive as any religious person finds blasphemy. Therefore the laws themselves would be illegal. QED, a simple logical proof by contradiction that offense should be tolerated.

  • by amck ( 34780 ) on Monday September 24, 2012 @03:55PM (#41441807) Homepage

    Toleration of people and their rights to autonomy.

    I'm intolerant of _actions_, because these impinge on other people, and hence need to be justified.

    Ideas: no. The world is full of bad ideas, many of which I've had myself. We need to examine and criticize ideas, examine their consequences, etc. No ideas (such as religions) get a free ride. Having held many bad ideas in the past, I don't hold that against people. We're all seeking after truth and a better life.

    As for "general intolerance of all things Southern", the key point you're looking for is prejudice: treat people as individuals, look for their humanity, rather than one of a class. Once you're willing to dismiss people for being racists/black/jew, that way lies the ovens.

  • And they wonder... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:09PM (#41451601)

    As these idiots continue to make fools of themselves they wonder why the world doesn't take them seriously.

    If these idiots were not so dangerous they would be laughable.

    I can't speak for the politicians... but the man on street in the "West" has just about had enough of "Islam".

    At one time Islam was viewed in a sympathetic light. Now... sympathy has turned to contempt.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham