Pursue the blasphemers

Ireland has ambitions to become another Pakistan, the Guardian reports.

The sale of the Charlie Hebdo magazine published after the Paris atrocity is threatening to become the first major test of the Irish Republic’s blasphemy law, Muslim representatives and secularists have warned.

Ireland’s Islamic Cultural Centre has said the presence of a depiction of the prophet Muhammad on the front page of the satirical publication, on sale now in Irish shops, is a clear breach of the country’s blasphemy legislation.

The Irish Republic is the only nation in Europe to have introduced a blasphemy law in the 21st century.

What a distinction, eh?

Ahmed Hasain, the executive secretary of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin, said: “In our view, the sale of this magazine is a breach in Irish law. It is blasphemous and it is illegal under the legislation. It’s against the law here in Ireland, that is quite clear.”

Hasain said that while the centre has not decided whether or not to lodge a complaint to the Irish authorities, individuals or groups have the right under Irish law to use the legislation to prosecute those distributing the magazine since last week.

That’s the part that makes Ireland more like Pakistan. It’s a ridiculous and dangerous provision of the already ridiculous and dangerous law. Does Ireland want people killing each other over religion? Again?

He described the law introduced by the former Fianna Fáil justice minister, Dermot Ahern, as very helpful. “It’s good that the law is in place as it protects every faith,” he said.

Nope, it’s bad, because no religion should be “protected” in that way.

And what about this Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland? Is it the spontaneous product of Irish Muslims getting together and creating it?

The Benefactor

In 1992 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (deputy ruler of Dubai) agreed to sponsor the construction and operation of the ICCI to provide new facilities for the Dublin Muslim community. A 4-acre site was purchased including a training-centre that had previously been a school. In 1993, this became the location of the Muslim National School. Construction of the Islamic Cultural Centre began in 1993.

Well at least it wasn’t a Saudi sheikh.


  1. Deepak Shetty says

    Hasain said that while the centre has not decided whether or not to lodge a complaint to the Irish authorities
    Oh please do. Perhaps then someone may wake up to how stupid and dangerous this law is.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    I do hope they bring a complaint. It’ll be interesting to see whether Ireland can enforce this law in the teeth of European human rights legislation, or whether it’s shown to be what it is – a worthless gesture in the direction of Ireland’s powerful religious lobby(s).

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