Arab League Wants International Blasphemy Prosections


As if the barbaric laws of many Middle Eastern countries that punish blasphemy weren’t already bad enough, the Arab League is drafting a new law that would allow its members to punish blasphemy even when it takes place outside their borders.

The draft, presented by Qatar, is being reviewed by delegates from several Arab countries at the Arab League.

Under its provisions, all forms of defamation, derision or denigration of religions and prophets will be considered crimes.

“The main feature of the draft is that it gives every state the right to put on trial those who abuse and hold in contempt religions even if they are outside the country,” Ebrahim Mousa Al Hitmi, the Qatari justice ministry assistant undersecretary for legal affairs, said, local Arabic daily Al Arab reported on Wednesday.

But don’t worry, this doesn’t conflict with freedom of expression at all. Just ask them:

The official insisted that the draft law does not clash with freedom of expression.

“The law does not interfere in any way with the freedom of opinion and expression which is well protected and guaranteed. “

Feel better now? Mr. Orwell to the white courtesy phone, please.

Comments

  1. John Pieret says

    Under its provisions, all forms of defamation, derision or denigration of religions and prophets will be considered crimes.

    Which will, of course, apply equally to Judaism.

  2. Randomfactor says

    “The law does not interfere in any way with the freedom of opinion and expression which is well protected and guaranteed. “

    You’re able to say whatever you want before they stone you.

  3. shouldbeworking says

    So then can Canada and other civilized nations prosecute the AL countries for violating human rights? If not, the AL can go jump in the lake.

  4. says

    So then can Canada and other civilized nations prosecute the AL countries for violating human rights?

    No, but we can bomb AL states for committing acts of war on our soil pursuant to their new law.

  5. sqlrob says

    Under its provisions, all forms of defamation, derision or denigration of religions and prophets will be considered crimes.

    Say, isn’t calling Jesus not the son of god defamation of Christianity?

  6. whheydt says

    Given some of the extraterritorial activities the US engages in, I can see why they think this would work.

  7. grumpyoldfart says

    And all around the world there are government leaders thinking to themselves, “I wonder if I could use those laws to my advantage?”

  8. jnorris says

    I am a bit surprised that the Arab League wants to protect religion so badly. I just thought they were going to repeal the Designated Hitter rule at this summit.

  9. Reginald Selkirk says

    I’m losing my edge. I didn’t even notice the typo in the post heading until now, and I can’t be bothered to figure out a way to make a joke out of it.

  10. busterggi says

    Clearly all believers think their deity is a hopeless wimp. Don’t know why they worship such a pathetic thing.

  11. criticaldragon1177 says

    Ed Brayton

    Someone should tell the official to read the UN declaration on Human Rights, if he insists this doesn’t conflict with freedom of expression and ask him why it doesn’t make any exemption for Blasphemy.

  12. criticaldragon1177 says

    John Pieret,

    You wrote,
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    “Under its provisions, all forms of defamation, derision or denigration of religions and prophets will be considered crimes.”

    Which will, of course, apply equally to Judaism.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    And if they were to be logically consistent, Christianity and every other religion on the planet, after all, its supposed to be against “Defamation Of Religions”

  13. criticaldragon1177 says

    Busterggi

    You wrote,
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Clearly all believers think their deity is a hopeless wimp. Don’t know why they worship such a pathetic thing.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

    I wouldn’t say that, and not because of Blasphemy laws, but that’s definitely one of the unintended messages these laws send.

  14. NitricAcid says

    I’m sure they’ll add a provision that denigrating another religion is okay as long as it is part of their sincere religious beliefs. So they’ll still be allowed to expound upon the Koranic bits that call Jews dogs and apes, but nobody will be allowed to say that about Islam.

  15. says

    NitricAcid “I’m sure they’ll add a provision that denigrating another religion is okay as long as it is part of their sincere religious beliefs. So they’ll still be allowed to expound upon the Koranic bits that call Jews dogs and apes, but nobody will be allowed to say that about Islam.”
    When I talk it’s reverence. When you talk it’s blasphemy.

  16. dingojack says

    “What are you going to do Frank.? Sue for ‘definition of character’?” = Benjamin Franklin Pierce
    Dingo

  17. Pierce R. Butler says

    … the Arab League is drafting a new law ….

    Sounds familiar. Too familiar.

    Maybe the first two letters in ALEC don’t stand for what they told us, after all…

  18. Birric Forcella says

    This is chickens coming home to roost.

    I’m not that much worried about the idiotic law itself as I am about the ever spreading idea that countries can enforce their laws outside their borders on people who never entered that country.

    I all started with the Americans, and, of course, with the best intentions. As always, it was about the children.

    At the beginning was venue shopping of district attorneys across US state borders. The most conservative laws of the South were used to prosecute pornographers in the liberal states.

    Next the US started to enforce its child sex laws abroad, first on their own residents, even if it involved cases of consensual sex in countries with lower age of consent. Of course, Europe followed suit. Other crimes followed, and, of course, terrorism provides the cover now to even kill foreigners who never set foot in the US for unindicted crimes committed outside the US..

    As an example, today the movie Blue Lagoon couldn’t be made. The producers went outside the US because Brooke Shields was 14 and a bit risqué in her castaway couture. These days you can’t go any more to another country to do things that might be iffy in the US.

    This does not only apply to crimes. The current rewriting of European data security laws exposed the fact that the US claims the right (and has acted on it in the past) to enforce National Security Letters on European citizens’ accounts, including the attendant secrecy – no matter if the data are kept in the US or Europe.

    This law of the Arab League is only a logical extension of what other countries do. Spain, for instance, will prosecute (in absentia) crimes that were committed outside of Spain by people who never set foot in Spain. So does the US.

    If you draw out the implications, this will turn international travel into a nightmare. Due to extradition treaties (and Interpol) you may have a stopover in some country and promptly get arrested to be whisked away to another country to answer charged for crimes you never heard about. This has already happened repeatedly.

    Laws need to stop at borders, period. No exceptions.

    The road to hell is paved with noble intentions.

  19. eric says

    Birric:

    I’m not that much worried about the idiotic law itself as I am about the ever spreading idea that countries can enforce their laws outside their borders on people who never entered that country.

    I[t] all started with the Americans, and, of course, with the best intentions. As always, it was about the children. At the beginning was venue shopping of district attorneys across US state borders.

    I’m very skeptical of that. Bounty hunting is one example of how a state or country will try to enforce its laws across its borders.That goes back at least to the slave era, and though I’m not an historian, I expect it predates the formation of the U.S. Heck, it probably predates the invention of iron weapons. So no, modern court-shopping to stop pornography is not how such thoughts originated. The US did not invent this concept. Not even close.

    Laws need to stop at borders, period. No exceptions.

    So you’re okay with slavery, as long as it’s practiced somewhere else?

    I think this is one case where neither the pro- or con- absolute is really going to make for good law or lead to the best possible world. Intervention is a tough call, there are lots of gray areas, its subjective and so always open to people disagreing about it. But even with all that, “do it any time you want” and “never do it” are both worse than “do it when you have really good reasons to do it.” I’ll concede for sake of argument that the modern U.S.(as well as countries like Span) currently tries to intervene to change other people’s behavior probably a lot more often than they should.

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