By Paracelsus 2 Comments
With the impending publication of "blasphemous"(at least by Islamic standards) cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by first the French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" and now its German counterpart "Titanic"(both inspired by the schlocky "Innocence Of Muslims" film), there have been calls from the Organization Of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon(which is like the Greek and Byzantine rites, subordinate to the Holy See but maintains its own liturgy) for a "global ban" on "defamation" of religion(read Islam) under the terms of international law by the UN.
I will explain why I think this proposal is an extraordinarily BAD idea. Firstly who defines what constitutes "defamation" of a faith( Jews do not accept Christ as the Son Of God and Muslims do not believe that He was crucified and rose again to name but two "blasphemous/defamatory" beliefs held by two major faiths)? Secondly who enforces such a ban(a news item last week suggested Christ may have been married, is this "defamation"?)
Thirdly, the tinge of hypocrisy is self evident- several of the OIC member states(most notoriously but hardly exclusively Saudi Arabia which criminalizes Christian or any other worship besides Wahhabite Islam and refuses entry to avowed Jews) have poor to abysmal reputations on matters of religious tolerance or political liberty, endorse or encourage scurrilously anti-Semitic cartoons and commentary such as "Mein Kampf" or "The Protocols Of The Elders of Zion"- and we expected to take finger wagging moralizing from THEM?
Fourthly in the world of the Internet, it is absurdly unrealistic to think anything can be permanently banned- witness the republication of nude photos of Kate Middleton in Sweden and Denmark after they were banned in France by court order.
To quote the late US President Dwight Eisenhower at a 1954 Dartmouth College commencement address- "Don't JOIN the book burners"!
Anybody else think as I do?