Hang the Atheist Bloggers!
Well, I wouldn’t be fond of being hanged for speaking my mind, so when I read the news story from Bangladesh, I get a bit tense. Just see what they are saying:
Thousands of Islamist protesters marched the streets of Bangladesh’s capital, calling for the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam.
I’m not interested in being told what I can, and can’t, write about, I’m sorry to say. If I want to write about things I think is flawed in Islam, I will damn well do so. Just as I will write about it if I think Christianity has a flaw, Hinduism has a flaw, Buddhism has a flaw, and so on.
The current punishment for defaming religion online in Bangladesh carries a jail sentence of up to 10 years in jail.
Define defaming? According to Wikipedia, Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In common law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).
OK, by that definition I defame Islam, as well as other religions.
Define blasphemy? Wikipedia again: Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a religious deity or the irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things.
By that definition I’m blasphemous as well.
I am showing a lack of reverence for all and any religious deity, just by not believing in them. I do also show a lack of reverence towards i.e. the pope, any priest, sufi, imam, and other religious leaders. Not as people, but as religious leaders. I’ve had loads of interesting conversations with both Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders, and as people I respect them a lot, but I still don’t respect their religion.
I mean seriously, here’s my definition of blasphemy (it’s near the wikipedia one, but I add some words to it):
Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for your religious deity or the irreverence towards your religious or holy persons or things.
See the difference? I don’t see how I can blaspheme, as I don’t think religion is anything but fairytales, and I don’t blaspheme if I speak against Hansel and Grethel, or Goldilocks. I most likely don’t blaspheme if I believe thunder is an electrical discharge, and not Thor or Zevs going about their business. So how can it be blasphemy if I don’t believe in Muhammed or Jesus, and what they supposedly did?
“I’ve come here to fight for Islam. We won’t allow any bloggers to blaspheme our religion and our beloved Prophet Mohammed,” Shahidul Islam, an imam at a mosque outside Dhaka who walked 20km, told AAP.
I have come here to fight for freedom of speech! We won’t allow any bloggers to be hung for speaking up against oppressive religions, be it Christianity, Islam, or any other.
Now, sod off and stop killing people in the name of imaginary gods!