Friday, January 14, 2005


Act Now to Get Rid of the Blasphemy Law

Support the Early Day Motion - Write to your MP.

2004 was a dreadful year for secularism in the UK, and 2005 has started badly. I kept meaning to blog about it.. the subject looms too large. But here's a start:

Firstly, there is the outlawing of incitement to religious hatred in the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Bill. If you have any doubt about the Government's motivation for this horrid act of vote-pandering, Mike O'Brien, Minister for Energy at the DTI, will set you straight.

Read him writing in Muslim Weekly.

Then consider the Islamic ruling on homosexuality: 'Kill the one who sodomizes and the one to who lets it be done to him.'

The details of the ruling are informative. Firstly, it expresses the fear of the homophobe explicitly: "'Whoever allows himself to be used sexually (by becoming a homosexual or sodomite), Allah Ta'ala will expel from him the (natural) desire for women.' ". Ooh dahling!

And it appears that even the Learned are confused about some aspects of the Sacred Edict:

"Sahaabah, Ali (RA)... ..said, 'Only one out of the many nations had indulged in it and you all know how Allah Ta'ala had dealt with them. I feel that he should be destroyed by fire...

"..Abu Bakr (RA) said that he should be executed by being thrown from a great height.

"Another view of Hadrat Ali (RA) was that a wall should be dropped upon him.

"Hadrat Ibn Abbaas, Ali, Jaabir bin Zaid, Abdullah bin Ma`mar, Imaam Zuhri and Imaam Maalik (radhiallaahu anhum) have said that those who commit the evil deed of the people of Loot (AS) should be stoned to death,

Hadrat Ibn Abbaas did not fuck about: 'He should be taken to the top of the highest building in the town and thrown headlong from there. Then he should be pelted with stones.'

Ask yourself: who really needs to be protected from hatred? Is it the religious zealot who takes offence at the activities of others? We have to hate hatred.

Secondly, there was the enactment of a de facto blasphemy law in Birmingham when a play, Behzti (whose plot included sexual abuse in a temple), was cancelled because of death threats to the writer and violent protests outside the theatre by Sikhs claiming that they had been offended. A second theatre which planned to perform the play also had to cancel. I have it on good authority that this was due to further credible threats.

It was particularly disgraceful that the Catholic Church, in the person of Peter Jennings, the spokesman of the Bishop of Birmingham, allied itself with the Sikh theocrats and spoke in their defence: one would have thought that his institution would have had at least some decency about so blatantly attempting to judge in its own cause, given its own record of covering up sexual abuse on 'sacred' property.

Once again, as in Islamic schools in Pakistan, we had the sight of adult males in postitions of authority reacting with extreme aggression to a young person raising their voice on such matters.

Speaking on Radio 5, Peter Jennings agreed admiringly with the contention that noone would dare perform such a play if its subject was Islam. When the Satanic Verses 'fatwa' was mentioned, He also took the opportunity to denigrate Salman Rushdie (for example, saying of The Satanic Verses, 'he wrote a load of rubbish' - a preposterous statement aethestically - it contains some of finest English prose) in a manner which demonstrated a ruthless instinct for dishonesty in pursuit of his policy of blaming the victim when violence claims a religious cause.

In a horribly ironic counterpoint to Peter Jennings' comments, a Roman Catholic, Abu Masih, recently spent 6 years in prison in Pakistan and narrowly avoided execution for comments which included support for The Satanic Verses, where the blasphemy law is routinely used against Christians (as well as anybody else whom the local potentate wishes to influence). If you wish to protest against such evils, whether as a Christian or as a member of Amnesty, remember that, living in Britain, you do not have the moral high ground.

Thirdly, there has been the Christian attack on the BBC for broadcasting 'Jerry Springer - the Opera', in which Christians claimed that they had been offended, issued death threats, and appealed to the common law crime of blasphemy in their cause.

The claim of religious offence, a harm for which no evidence exists except the aggression of the victim, is a military, terrorist tactic. It is intended that the 'culprit' should be afraid. And they are. Innocent people have had to stop going about their lawful business.

This is the climate brought about by the Government's back-tracking on the abolition of blasphemy and proposal to outlaw 'incitement'. Theocrats feel assured that the force of the law, far from being brought against them, is on their side.

So tell your MP that you vote, that you will not accept any compromise with theocracy, and that they can start by supporting EDM 445

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?