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Man Arrested In Greece For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page 412

An anonymous reader writes "A 27-year old man was arrested yesterday in Greece (Greek-language original) by the electronic crime police, for creating a Facebook page "Geron Pastitsios" which made fun of an extremely respected Orthodox Christian monk who lived in Mount Athos, as well as the Greek Church. The arrest came promptly after the Greek far-right party — which holds 7% of the parliament seats — submitted an official petition asking the government to take down the page. The charges that the young man faces are 'blasphemy' and 'disrespect to the religious beliefs of others.'" What would the UN say?
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Man Arrested In Greece For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

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  • bread and circuses (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:15PM (#41451687)

    Well, perhaps this kind of controversy is exactly what the Greek government needs to turn attention away from the economy.

  • by tokul ( 682258 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:16PM (#41451713)
    'blasphemy' is anachronism from middle ages. 'disrespect to the religious beliefs of others.' is exactly what he have done.
  • So tired... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:16PM (#41451715)

    So tired of religion. When will it end?!

  • by readin ( 838620 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:20PM (#41451779)

    'blasphemy' is anachronism from middle ages. 'disrespect to the religious beliefs of others.' is exactly what he have done.

    And it should be legal.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:21PM (#41451805)
    By holding onto one set of beliefs, you implicitly disrespect all other sets of beliefs whether you want it or not.
  • by readin ( 838620 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:24PM (#41451865)
    So when someone makes a video attacking Islam, he's called "far right" and it is the moderates who make his film illegal and ban him from their country (as the UK did to Geert Wilders). But when someone makes a facebook page attacking Orthodox Christians, he's a moderate and the people who want the facebook banned are called "far right".

    Just trying to make sure I understand the definition of "far right".
  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:24PM (#41451867)
    Crappy right-wing deregulation & economic policymaking is allowed. Fighting illegal wars against far weaker enemies is allowed, with massive civilian casualties. Being an anti-immigration racist is allowed. ---- But show an exposed female nipple on TV, or say something negative about the Church or Clergy, and they will hunt you down, brother! --------- These people need to get a life.. Whatever this man said online, its freedom of speech! Love it or hate it...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:26PM (#41451899)

    and this 'news for nerds'...

    You realize the tagline/motto is gone, right?

  • by Ultra64 ( 318705 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:27PM (#41451917)

    I like how you conveniently omit the "Stuff that matters" part.

  • by OakDragon ( 885217 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:29PM (#41451963) Journal
    As per usual, it's sloppy shorthand for "do not like".
  • by WilliamGeorge ( 816305 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:33PM (#41452025)

    For this sort of behavior on the part of others claiming to be Christians. I don't want to be persecuted for speaking my mind and what I believe, and so I do not believe anyone should be arrested or harmed for speaking out or posting things online. There is a fine line to walk when things become violent (death threats) or obscene (pornographic), but in so far as possible we need to be open and free in dialog if we want to have civil and prosperous societies.

    This is one of the few things that is still great about the US (where I live), though it is slipping day by day even here. But arresting someone for what they post? Or worse, in Islamic areas, killing people for what *others* post? I don't see how that sort of behavior can lead to anything good.

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:33PM (#41452037) Journal

    The "Barbara Streisand" effect can actually be hazardous for the accused here. Supposing that the charge is actually valid enough to surpass a cursory ruling of the courts, his crime is essentially the equivilent of pointing something out that makes someone else look bad in public. If a lot more public are now aware of it, then potentially the harm or problems these actions caused are now compounded.

    Blasphemy laws are not necessarily about hiding the certain speech. They are more to the point of stopping it altogether. The bigger the exposure the bigger the penalty might be in order to discourage the behavior in the future. Of course people outside of Greece's jurisdiction don't really need to worry about them.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:34PM (#41452039)
    "Your Rights Online". Sounds like a nerd issue to me.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:34PM (#41452043) Journal

    Doesn't blasphemy require attacking actual deities or assorted holy objects/texts/persons, rather than mere religious functionaries, however pious?

    If anything, isn't it (in the context of an ostensible monotheism, like eastern orthodoxy) verging on blasphemy to assert that satire against a mere man is blasphemous?

    Obviously, religious functionaries have the same interest in conflating their own status with the priviliged status accorded to dieties, just as politicians generally do their best to conflate their own persons and administrations with lofty things like 'Nation' and 'The Office of the President'; but, in both cases, it is actually a vital part of the protection of the genuinely venerated things to mock and dissuade the assorted grifters who attempt to parasitize them. Not doing that swiftly turns your religion into a cult or your government into an autocracy...

  • by synir ( 731266 ) < minus pi> on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:35PM (#41452057)
    The extreme right-wing party in question - let's call it what it is, neofascist - has been a much mocked tiny minority for the last thirty years or so in Greece. They ran magazines praising the values of Hitler's Germany, the old dodecatheon (I kid you not) of Zeus and Hera and kept to their own niche of society talking about ancient aliens that gifted the race with superweapons waiting for the day to come to rise again. But no more. When the economy took a dramatic downturn they turned their preaching toward populism instead. Gone are the mentions of the Gods from any speeches or articles now that they figured they can catch a lot more followers (and votes) by supporting the most fanatical aspects of the Orthodox Church instead. So this is what it's all about. An opportunity to appeal to the masses as defending Christianity when several of their higher ups weren't even Christians up to a few years ago, and a party openly supporting racism making a bid for political power any way they can get it. They could care less about the venerable monk.
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:36PM (#41452079) Journal

    As per usual, it's sloppy shorthand for "do not like".

    As per usual, it's just someone calling a political party what it calls itself. They are talking about Golden Dawn []. If you'd like to go into Wikipedia and change the political position of Golden Dawn to "do not like" from "Far-right" I think you will find that both liberal and conservative editors will tell you to take a hike.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:37PM (#41452083)

    Having to earn respect is a lot different from deserving disrespect. And we all have delusions, which quite often negatively effect others. The point of tolerance is to prevent one brand of delusion from harming another (or from harming something that isn't a delusion, but also can't be proven as such, therefore causing other people who disagree to brand it as a delusion).

  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:38PM (#41452111) Homepage Journal

    far right: (adj) political ideology that predisposes adherents to passive-aggressive whining about how no one likes them

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:49PM (#41452321) Journal

    I have a religious belief that free speech is sacred, and any restriction on that speech is disrespectful to my religion.

  • Re:Politics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ethanms ( 319039 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:03PM (#41452563)

    Conservatives over here have done things like pass laws forbidding global warming

    They've made being the Earth a crime

    in America, there is a state now where, by law, every woman is pregnant

    Seriously... wtf are you talking about? You either need to put down the crack pipe, or provide legitimate citations for these (and then pass the crack pipe over here)

  • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:04PM (#41452585) Journal

    We're harassing the hell out of some guy who made a 2nd-rate movie about Muhammad and making sure the world sees him being put into the back seat of a car.

    First I've heard of it. Who's "we"? Last I heard the guy is still pretty anonymous.

    Then our government buys airtime on Pakistani TV to apologize for his actions.

    Er, no, that's to explain to the people of Pakistan that the US government does not have any control over what individuals say and that in America there is freedom of speech.

    This freedom stuff is fragile so pay attention!

    Yeah. Pay attention.

  • by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:05PM (#41452603) Journal

    'blasphemy' is anachronism from middle ages. 'disrespect to the religious beliefs of others.' is exactly what he have done.

    And it should be legal.

    It should be mandatory. All religions are crazy.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:10PM (#41452701)

    Disagreeing and disrespecting aren't the same thing.

    For rational people, no. For religious people, well, you're sort of out of luck on this. If you believe that Allah is the one true god and that anyone else is deluded and should be either reeducated, taxed, or criminally prosecuted, and then I come and hold the belief that all this religious stuff is just a memetic parasite living on a biological/neurological substrate grown for some quirky evolutionary reason within the past few dozen millennia, it's difficult to me to imagine that person telling me "All right, I don't see your naturalistic point of view as an affront to my faith." If anything, news from the Middle East convinced me that the reality is exactly the opposite one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:17PM (#41452817)

    Maybe the Greek government should spend their time fixing the disastrous economy they created instead of wasting time with this nonsense.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:19PM (#41452871) Journal
    Thats the point. EVERY single human being has their own individual set of beliefs. To go around making sure everyone is on the same page is madness. To go around FORCING the issue is evil.
  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:46PM (#41453419) Homepage Journal

    This is certainly news for nerds. A man is being arrested for posting something on facebook.

    It could be argued that Facebook is for the masses, not for nerds.

    On the other hand, theists forcing others to not ridicule their absurd fairy tales is stuff that matters.

  • by Dishevel ( 1105119 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:52PM (#41453509)

    So why exactly do we need to buy airtime in Pakistan to let them know that the actions of some guy making a movie are not official US government policy?
    Will explaining this to anyone who needs it explained to them change a mind? Just one mind. Not looking for miracles here.
    It is my belief that it will not change one mind in Pakistan. Not one.
    The fact that the government feels the need to do this is not as you rightly stated apologizing.
    It is a bad attempt at pandering though. Pandering that has no hope of working and that can only make the US federal government look weak and ineffectual.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:54PM (#41453529) Homepage Journal

    By holding onto one set of beliefs, you implicitly disrespect all other sets of beliefs whether you want it or not.

    Untrue. I'm a Christian, but the year I was in Thailand I gained a LOT of respect for the Bhuddists. It depends on what beliefs you're talking about. I don't have to believe in reincarnation or karma to respect those who do.

    However, when a belief is obviously brain-dead stupid, like electing someone who is exactly like Bush will have a different result than the clusterfuck that was his administration, I can't respect that. Stupid doesn't deserve respect.

  • by readin ( 838620 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:24PM (#41455123)
    If your argument is that you should be free to offend something imaginary, then you'll lose the argument because the people you're arguing with don't believe it is imaginary. The key to the success of American religious tolerance is not that we believe religion is imaginary and therefor that various beliefs are harmless. The key to our religious tolerance is that we believe people have an inherent right to be wrong. We believe in conversion by choice, and that conversion by sword is not allowed.

    If you expect to make the argument that because their god is imaginary Muslims shouldn't get upset at offenses, you're not arguing for religious tolerance; you're arguing that your religion is better than theirs.
  • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @09:23PM (#41458721) Homepage

    Believe it or not, free speech matters a great deal to computer nerds and geeks. Computers for us is all about expression not all about consumption and being free to express what ever we choose to express within reason is very import, up to and including expressing our dislike for all those who would suppress us. I believe you might have forgotten but the church has a terrible history of burning us intellectually driven types at the stake, so yeah those of us who know a little history will for ever be sticking it to religions to keep the buggers down and make sure they never get the opportunity to torture to death future generations of computer geeks and nerds. We know who our enemy is, history has taught us our enemy, it is ignorance and those who would exploit it for their own personal gain. The core of being able to perpetuate ignorance has always been religion and compulsory religion has been the worst offender.

  • by Byrel ( 1991884 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2012 @02:45PM (#41467087)

    Minor correction: the church rarely burned anyone at the stake. In fact, they rarely had the authority to do any such thing. Most actual religious executions were carried out by secular powers. This includes everything from Christ's crucifixion to the Spanish Inquisition. If you weren't unlucky enough to reside in Italy, the chances of the church directly burning you at the stake was quite minimal. In other words, the politicians of the day were the one's directly responsible.

    Furthermore, if you looked for where the science stayed alive, and where mathematics was cherished during the Dark ages, you would find it in monasteries and whatnot. (And in other parts of the world naturally; the Dark ages were only dark for Europe after all.) At that point in European history, the Catholic church was the only one willing to commit the resources to support intellectuals. Sure, most of the intellectuals they supported were intellectuals working in theology. But not most by a long shot.

    I'm no fan of the Catholic church, but your hatred wrongs them, and the rest of all religions along with them. Religion has been, historically, one of the most philosophic endeavors civilizations would support. Intellectually driven people have been, as often as not, employed by 'the church.'

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