Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Liberal MP, Saudi autocrats and a satirical magazine

It seems the controversy over whether one can criticise Islam is all in the news again.

Over at Harry's Place Sarah AB returns to the Jesus & Mo tweet story once again as she reports that Liberal Democrat MP Gordon Birtwhistle has confirmed his views on Maajid Nawaz in a letter to a constituent:

Dear Shoib,

Reaction Muslim Action

I can confirm I find the actions of Maajid Nawaz completely unacceptable and an insult to people from all religions. The Liberal Democrats should condemn his actions, deselect him and cancel his membership. If asked I will pass my views on to the leadership.

Yours sincerely,

Gordon Birtwistle

So much for defending the supposedly Liberal values of freedom of speech and expression that we all take for granted in this country.

No such luxury for this man whose marginal seat is under threat at the next election. His stance wouldn't have anything to do with the Muslim vote in Burnley would it? 

After all we all know how the Lib Dems principles helped electoral reform, student fees and are at the forefront of defending trade union rights in the civil service. Nah only joking. They've sold us out on everything else why should our fundamental human rights stand in the way of this vainglorious man.

Birtwhistle is in good company to. Over in that bastion of democracy and human rights (cough) Saudi Arabia the Freethinker informs us that:

SAUDI Arabia’s culture and information ministry has warned online media and websites that they could be shut down if they offend Islam, abuse people or insult community traditions.

Abdul Aziz Al Melham, the ministry spokesperson, said:

We will deal decisively with all those who affront Saudi Arabia or its citizens. This includes targeting the Islamic faith and the Prophet, peace be upon him, as well as attacking the customs and traditions of the Saudi society and compromising the security of the homeland.

He then added some blah about “responsible freedom”.

Then promptly shut down 41 websites.

One wonders why the Saudis think Islam is to weak to stand up to any kind of criticism, its' not like they have to worry about the electorate like Gordon Birtwhistle. 

They don't even let women drive a car. Heaven forbid. Oh yeah, heaven does forbid.


Talking of fascists readers may recall that a few self appointed Islamist censors decided to do a bit more than just shut down a website when they fire bombed the French Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2011 over some cartoon on its cover.

Those satirists are at it again with yet another provocative cover with something along the lines of Islam is crap on its cover. Didn't think it was that funny myself, but then these French have a wee bit of an odd sense of humour obviously. 

Where's the Danish cartoonists when you need them?

The Freethinker  takes up the story:

No firebombs this time. Instead, the League of Judicial Defence of Muslims (LDJM), led by the former lawyer Karim Achoui, has decided to turn to the courts instead.

Taking advantage of the existence of the crime of “blasphemy” uniquely available in the Alsace-Moselle region – it no longer exists in the rest of French common law – the League has brought the case against Charlie Hebdo to the Criminal Court in Alsace-Moselle’s capital, Strasbourg. The hearing is set for 7 April.

One complication is that the Alsatian blasphemy law does not recognise Islam, covering only Catholicism, three forms of Protestantism and Judaism. This test case will decide whether the law can be widened to include Islam.

The LDJM is also trying to prosecute Charlie Hebdo in a Paris court for:

Provocation and incitement to hatred on the basis of religious affiliation.

The Tribunal of First Instance in Paris will decide whether the case can proceed.

France has racial and religious hatred laws that are intended to protect only individuals. French courts will consider cases that cause “injury, personal and direct attack against a group of people because of their religious affiliation” or incitement to racial or religious hatred in cases involving defamation of individuals.

One can only hope they lose and all Blasphemy laws are abolished.

Also on my "wish list" is that Birtwhistle gets kicked out at the next General Election and the Saudi people overthrow their medieval rulers.

No comments:

Post a Comment