Sunday, August 28, 2011

Egypt: Police arrest man for posting Facebook comments "that were insulting to the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed and Islam and Muslims"

This is the kind of law that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is trying to compel Western states to adopt. The OIC’s campaign, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu emphasized in June 2011, was “a matter of extreme priority for the OIC.” And it has met with a good deal of success. In November 2010, the UN General Assembly voted to condemn what it called the “vilification of religion.” Every majority-Muslim state, without exception, supported the resolution. This wasn’t the first time. The UN has previously passed resolutions condemning the “defamation of religion.” A Reuters report claimed that the language was softened in the November 2010 resolution from “defamation” to “vilification” in order to win more support from Western nations, but these words are essentially synonyms, and both dangerously subjective: if a binding resolution were passed, what constitutes “defamation” or “vilification” would presumably be left up to some UN body, which would mean, essentially, that it would be up to the OIC.
The OIC hopes ultimately to compel Western states to criminalize criticism of “matters regarded by followers of any religion or belief as sacred.” The latest iteration of the UN resolution specifically condemned “Islamophobia, Judeophobia and Christianophobia,” but if anything was a sop to Western nations and their bothersome notions of the freedom of speech, it was the inclusion of the last two. Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ, Chris Ofili’s dung- and pornography-encrusted Holy Virgin Mary, and a thousand anti-Semitic caricatures in the Arabic media vilifying Jews and Judaism in the crudest terms, never gave rise to any calls for United Nations action against “defamation” or “vilification” of religions. The OIC is the driving force behind such resolutions, and its aim is to proscribe “Islamophobia.”
In other words, it wants the U.S. and Europe to adopt Islamic blasphemy laws, such as the one this Facebook commenter fell afoul of in Egypt.
"Egypt police arrest man for Facebook 'Islam insults,'" from AFP, August 21 (thanks to Wimp Boy):
CAIRO (AFP) - Cairo police arrested a man who allegedly 'insulted Islam' in postings on Facebook after they tracked him down through his internet address, state news agency MENA reported on Saturday.
The agency said the 23-year-old, identified only as Ayman Y.M., posted comments 'that were insulting to the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed and Islam and Muslims.' It did not disclose what he allegedly said.
The youth was referred to the prosecution, which may charge him under a law that penalises 'insulting religion.'...

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