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wattle

Another Silly Law

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Ireland has passed an anti-blasphemy law, making it a criminal offence. Actually, the law passed about 6 months ago but I've only just heard about it.

 

A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €25,000.

 

For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

 

It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value in the matter to which the offence relates.

 

So there are loopholes - you have to intend to outrage and most serious comments would be exempt (although onus of proof of 'seriousness' is on the defendant). But be very careful about saying that Christians are polytheists in Ireland!

Edited by wattle

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PropellerAds

... and the extreme end of blasphemy laws:

 

Somalia's radical Islamic Shebab group has hailed the attack.

 

"We appreciate the incident in which a Muslim Somali boy attacked the devil who abused our Prophet Mohammed and we call upon all Muslims around the world to target the people like [him]," Shebab spokesman Sheikh Ali Muhamud Rage said.

 

Rage said for his part, "there could be some people who might say that boy was related to Shebab or other Islamic organisations, but I tell you that this incident is not something that could be related only to Shebab or other Islamic organisations.

 

"It is a general obligation for all Muslims to defend their religion and the prophet. He really did what was to be done by any other Muslim."

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... and the extreme end of blasphemy laws:

 

The statement by the spokesman is his opinion, or the opinion of the group he represents. It is not necessarily a consensus opinion of Scholars, or of majority of Muslims. But the law passed in Ireland is consensus opinion of the Parliament.

 

Hope you see the difference.

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If Rage is a "Shebab spokesman" he is by definition not merely giving his own opinion. He's giving the opinion of the would-be government of Somalia.

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If Rage is a "Shebab spokesman" he is by definition not merely giving his own opinion. He's giving the opinion of the would-be government of Somalia.

 

Many a times, a spokesman gives his personal opinion too, and does not necessarily represent the group. Stretching it to the would-be government is stretching it too far.

 

Whereas the law from the Irish is the law enacted by the Parliament.

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It is extremely unusual for a political party spokesman to give their own opinion rather than the opinion of the party. They would immediately lose their job if they did. So why do you think that Rage was giving his own opinion rather than the party's opinion?

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It is extremely unusual for a political party spokesman to give their own opinion rather than the opinion of the party. They would immediately lose their job if they did. So why do you think that Rage was giving his own opinion rather than the party's opinion?

 

It is very common for people to give their opinion, and it is not necessary that everything they say should be for the party. There are many instances where a party later clarifies that the opinion expressed was that ofd the individual and not in the capacity of the party's representative.

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No, not things said by a party spokesman. I don't recall it happening.

 

Anyway, we'll find out when/if Al Shabab says that his statement was incorrect. I think we'll be waiting a long time. (Although of course, the next time a party spokesman says something, how will you know it is actually party policy and not just a personal opinion? If party spokesmen do not neccessarily tell us what is policy, how do you know what Al Shabab policy is?)

Edited by wattle

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It isn't, really, it's silly. The law isn't about 'hate speech' and it isn't about defaming members of a religion, it's simply about blasphemy, and is thus unworkable. Claiming that Jesus is not god is blasphemous to Christians; claiming that Jesus IS god is blasphemous to Jews and Muslims. It cannot work.

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How so?

 

It will be illegal to say that (for eample) statues of Hindu gods are the work of Satan. It will be illegal to say that the bible is corrupt.

 

It's a dumb law.

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It isn't, really, it's silly. The law isn't about 'hate speech' and it isn't about defaming members of a religion, it's simply about blasphemy, and is thus unworkable. Claiming that Jesus is not god is blasphemous to Christians; claiming that Jesus IS god is blasphemous to Jews and Muslims. It cannot work.

 

See past the propaganda, the law is meant to protect Christians and only Christians. See if anyone get's jailed for pulling another Muhammad cartoon.

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Atheists are the ones who get punished the most for saying all religions are fiction.

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David MK - I dunno about that. Do you have experience of Irish laws being selectively applied? I doubt that anyone will be prosecuted at all (except maybe for the test case brought by atheists) and the law will be quietly dropped.

Edited by wattle

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