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What You Can (and Can’t) Say in Europe Today

The decline of free speech in Europe today pits blasphemy laws and political correctness against freedom of expression.

Chalk Up a Victory for Violent Islamists

The editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo announced the magazine will no longer publish cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. Six months earlier, IslamistA victim of the Charlie Hebdo attack (Photo: © Reuters) A victim of the Charlie Hebdo attack (Photo: © Reuters) gunmen slaughtered 12 people in the magazine’s offices, including the magazine’s editor, senior staff and cartoonists.

The magazine’s most prominent cartoonist, Rénald “Luz” Luzier, said earlier he would no longer draw the Prophet Mohammed since it “no longer interests me.” He quit the magazine altogether.

Denmark Drags Out Its Blasphemy Laws to Prosecute Speech Against Islam

Unlike Norway and Iceland, Denmark decided to not to cancel old laws against blasphemy, despite the fact the European Union published guidelines protecting freedom of religion and belief. The guidelines state the “right to freedom of religion or belief, as enshrined in relevant international standards, does not include the right to have a religion or a belief that is free from criticism or ridicule.”

A year after the February 14-15, 2015 shooting attacks in Copenhagen by Islamists — one at an event called “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” — the Danish government convicted and fined Danish citizen Flemming Nielsen, for a November 2013 Facebook post critical of Islam.

The Gates of Vienna Investigating “Denigration of Religion”

Geert WildersGeert Wilders Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders in under investigation by Austrian authorities for a speech he made in Vienna recently that compared the Quran with Hitler’s Mein Kampf and suggesting the former be banned as is the later.

Wilders, whose party is has been at the top or nearly at the top of the polls in Netherlands for many years, made the comments in the context of arguing that members of parliaments of a nation that are accepting immigrants should have a say in the immigration policies.

In 2007, Wilders was acquitted of an accusation of hate speech for remarks he made that were critical of Islam.

 A “Grossly Offensive Message”

James-McConnell-InsideIn Ireland, evangelical Pastor James McConnell, 78, is being prosecuted for a sermon he gave Pastor James McConnell criticizing Islam. McConnell has been charged on two counts: improper use of a public electronic communications network (the sermon was live-streamed on the internet) and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

His lawyers have argued the sermon was legal under the statues of freedom of expression. The judge declined to throw the case out of court saying that he was not convinced there were not any circumstances under which the pastor could be found guilty.

Sharia Patrol? Germany Gov’t Says It’s “Halal

A German court decided that nine Salafist Muslims who were arrested in Germany for setting up asharia patrol will not be prosecuted. The group wasThe sharia patrol of WuppertalThe sharia patrol of Wuppertal patrolling the streets of Wuppertal in western Germany telling passersby that the area was a “Sharia-Controlled Zone,” which meant alcohol, drugs, gambling, music and concerts, pornography and prostitution were prohibited. Despite the fact that the group was dressed in in bright orange vests labelled “Sharia Patrol” and intimidating the public, the court announced that the group had not violated any German law.

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Saudi Arabia on Religious Freedom: Butt out. Stay out. Keep out. Got it?

blasphemy lawsSaudi Arabia shows its jaw-dropping hypocrisy as it moves to impose “anti-blasphemy” laws on the non-Muslim world.

That’s the message from Saudi Arabia. Do not meddle in their internal affairs.

If they want to lop off heads, leave them alone. If they want to flog their apostates, what’s that to you? And if they want to shred the hands of people reading the Bible, at least they’re not your hands.

So shut up.

Canadian officials heard that message loudly when they decided to criticize Saudi Arabia for torturing a blogger, Raif Badawi, with 1,000 lashes for criticizing the kingdom’s religious clerics.

The Saudi ambassador told Canada’s National Assembly that his country “does not accept any form of interference in its internal affairs.”

Sweden tried the same thing. Its foreign minister described the flogging of Badawi as a “cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression.”

Sweden got the same royal treatment. Saudi Arabia stomped its feet in the sand and called the criticism a “flagrant interference in internal affairs.”

But just try building a church there.

We out here in the free world should all get it. Don’t try swimming in the sands of Saudi Arabia.

Then why should we pay any attention to a Saudi attempt to meddle in our affairs?

Last month the Saudi director-general for external relations called on all nations – yes, all nations – to adopt laws banning “blasphemy.”

In a wordy statement, Director-General Sheikh Abdul Majeed Al-Omari declared:

“We have made it clear that freedom of expression without limits or restrictions would lead to violation and abuse of religious and ideological rights. This requires everyone to criminalize insulting heavenly religions, prophets, holy books, religious symbols and places of worship.”

This is stupid on so many levels that the Kingdom should be renamed the King-dumb.

First, they voice concern that freedom of expression could somehow lead to the abuse of religious and ideological rights. They need to get down off their high camels and examine the stupidity of this statement.

Saudi Arabia doesn’t need to look “outside” to find freedom of expression leading to the abuse of religious and ideological rights.

It only needs to look inside. It can start by pointing its camel-nose directly at Raif Badawi, whose only crime was to write insulting blog posts about Saudi religious clerics.

So here’s the thinking, in all its Saudi logic. It’s the only way their statement could possibly make sense:

Raif Badawi wrote blog material that King-dumb authorities say involved “ridiculing Islamic religious figures” and “going beyond the realm of disobedience.”

For this crime of expressing himself freely, Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, to be meted out 50 lashes per week for 20 weeks. This is abuse – no doubt. So do you see? Freedom of expression can lead to the “abuse of religious and ideological rights.”

It’s twisted logic, but what else can we expect from the twisted minds of the Saudis, who still believe that Christians are “swine” and that Jews are “apes”?

In his demand that all nations adopt blasphemy laws, the director-general also wants to “criminalize insulting heavenly religions, prophets, holy books, religious symbols and places of worship.”

What? Noble? A girl?

This bold statement comes from a nation that criminalizes apostasy, carrying a Bible, building churches and – get this – naming a child Alice, Sandy or Lauren. These are “blasphemous names” in Saudi Arabia, which means that to bestow one of them on your offspring is to risk a date with the swordsman.

Alice is forbidden because it means “noble.” Only the Saudi royalty is noble, you understand, not some pipsqueak baby girl. Sandy means “defender of men.” So it’s obvious why that name is banned. Lauren means “crowned with laurels.” When’s the last time you’ve seen the Saudis crown a girl?

In fact, there are 50 “blasphemous” names in Saudi Arabia.

Should the Saudis really be in charge of leading the world on criminalizing blasphemy? This is a country that still will not let women drive. It’s punishable by up to 10 lashes.

Imagine what a Saudi-like, anti-blasphemy police force would be like:

“Ms. Patterson you are hereby guilty of carrying a Bible into a church while holding a baby named Sandy. That’s three strikes. And oh, by the way, are those car keys in your hand?”

In 2012, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia declared that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”

Does that not sound a little blasphemous to you? If I were to say that all mosques should be destroyed, I would be lined up right behind Ms. Patterson at the block in Chop-Chop Square.

So, to be clear, Saudi Arabia isn’t about criminalizing insults to all “places of worship.” It is only about criminalizing blasphemy against the places of Islamicworship. For in the twisted minds of the King-dumb, there is only one “place of worship,” which is the abode of Allah – not Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Father or the Holy Spirit.

Christian and Jewish places of worship? Have at it. These other “places of worship” do not exist and are therefore impossible to blaspheme.

Understanding the religious logic of the Saudis is not easy, unless you accept that “logic,” to them, is only that which benefits Islam. What might appear to be an edict protecting all religions is, in reality, only a deaf-dumb-and-blind safeguard for their own religion.

The King-dumb doesn’t want anyone meddling in their affairs, but they want to freely meddle in the affairs of others, and even dictate them.

I would like to call the Saudi royalty a bunch of yo-yos, but that would be an insult to the beloved child’s toy. A yo-yo at least knows how to stay on its own string.