Blasphemy

Nosmo King

I'm not a cat
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As a Christian, anti-blasphemy laws baffle me. There can be no possible need for them.
It seems to me that blasphemy law are there as a protectionist deterrent, in my opinion, some religions are very insecure about their continued existance, so the make laws to nip in the bud any discontentment with said religion, to stop mass agreement with 'unreligious' sentiment, and to keep the populous in line and under the influence of the religion.
 

PeteByrdie

Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide
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In my opinion religion was set up by man, to control man, end of story.
I've believed that and it's always a tempting idea, but I think we see ample evidence that beliefs to explain the unknowns of the world emerge and spread organically in communities.
 

Lb8535

Justified & Ancient
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It seems to me that blasphemy law are there as a protectionist deterrent, in my opinion, some religions are very insecure about their continued existance, so the make laws to nip in the bud any discontentment with said religion, to stop mass agreement with 'unreligious' sentiment, and to keep the populous in line and under the influence of the religion.
Slightly different take, not pursuing blasphemy might jeopardize the power of the people who are using the religion to gain - whatever. I don't think you'll find truly believing people spending a lot of time worrying about it. The most popular religions speak strongly about non-judgment and compassion. As always, there's a gap between the actual belief structure and how it manifests in inevitably flawed human society.
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
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Surely any god worth his...well, whatever sacrifice he (or she) demands, is perfectly capable of smiting the unbelievers, and doesn't require the hand of man to intervene?
 

Mikefule

Abominable Snowman
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I am an atheist myself but I respect other people's right to their religious beliefs.

I may not always respect the belief itself, of course. That depends on a number of variables about the belief, with a huge subjective element on my part.

However, I will judge you by how you behave towards me and other people, rather than whether you believe in God, or that every pool and glade has a genius loci, or you have a sophisticated spiritual concept of the unity of the universe and the godhead.

In theory, I also respect everyone's right to show legitimate disrespect towards the religious views of others. Freedom of speech is important, as are freedom of religion and freedom from religion.

However, I have no respect for someone choosing to offend other people's sensitivities just because they can, whether they are stepping on a picture of the BVM, or burning the flag, or urinating on the cenotaph. I have no more respect for those provocative actions than I do for the people who react to them with violence and hatred.

Setting aside the literal truth, or otherwise, of religion, I think that all societies, all communities, have things that they hold sacred. Shared veneration of a place, or symbol, or a story provides an essential social bond.

To some extent, it doesn't matter what the thing is that is venerated, or whether it is real or imagined, or physical or metaphysical. It is the act of veneration that is important.

I would not deface a picture of Jesus any more than I would desecrate a cemetery, step on the grave of the unknown soldier, or fart loudly in the minute's silence for a recently deceased football manager. I will speak freely against the irrationality and excesses of organised religion, but I do not feel entitled to gratuitously insult beliefs that are important to people.

At their worst, anti-blasphemy laws can impose a climate of fear and enforce conformity, and I guess we all see that as a bad thing. However, at their best, anti-blasphemy laws simply protect what the community holds sacred, and that can be a good and necessary thing.

I am atheist and I believe that when we die, we are gone, but nevertheless, for the last 40 years I have quietly marked the anniversary of Buddy Holly's death: a singer who died before I was born. I also sometimes quietly nip down to the local churchyard to tidy the grass around the memorial slab to my wife's late first husband: a man I never met. Showing respect never does any harm. Disrespect for its own sake can be destructive.
 
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Lb8535

Justified & Ancient
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Surely any god worth his...well, whatever sacrifice he (or she) demands, is perfectly capable of smiting the unbelievers, and doesn't require the hand of man to intervene?
Yes I think that in general whether it's called smiting or karma that's part of most belief structures.
 

Stormkhan

Disturbingly familiar
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I have always regarded blasphemy laws to be most suited to the believers it pertains to, and not the unbeliever.
My take on this is this: blasphemy is a 'crime' committed by a follower against the religion they follow. Thus, in the (very) old days, a worshipper would be in fear of excommunication. It would refuse them access to the privileges associated with the belief system. It would also limit the actual resources they could call upon from others. Nowadays ... well, I don't think the Church is so quick to throw excommunication around as a threat because it's not so much of a threat any more.
In the modern world, the Church wants to use secular laws to include behaviour that might be considered blasphemy as this carries real-life consequences.
Me myself? I wouldn't actively commit blasphemy to make a point. Each to their own and as long as that Church doesn't force me to do anything, I'll not bother it. It's respect - not for the belief system, or it's leaders, but for it's general mass of followers who have done nothing to me so why should I go out of my way to offend them?
 

hunck

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Eight-year-old becomes youngest person charged with blasphemy in Pakistan


He’s from a Hindu community.

The boy is accused of intentionally urinating on a carpet in the library of a madrassa, where religious books were kept, last month. Blasphemy charges can carry the death penalty.

“He [the boy] is not even aware of such blasphemy issues and he has been falsely indulged in these matters. He still doesn’t understand what his crime was and why he was kept in jail for a week.

Blasphemy charges filed against a child have shocked legal experts, who say the move is unprecedented. No one this young has ever been charged with blasphemy before in Pakistan.

Blasphemy laws have been disproportionately used in the past against religious minorities in Pakistan. Although no blasphemy executions have been carried out in the country since the death penalty was introduced for the crime in 1986, suspects are often attacked and sometimes killed by mobs.
 

ramonmercado

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Lynched by islamist mob.

Police have arrested 13 suspects and detained dozens of others over the lynching of a Sri Lankan employee at a sports equipment factory in eastern Pakistan, officials said.

A mob of hundreds of enraged Muslims descended on the factory in the district of Sialkot in Punjab province on Friday after the Sri Lankan manager was accused of blasphemy.

The mob grabbed Priyantha Kumara, lynched him and publicly burned the body, according to police. Factory workers accused him of desecrating posters bearing the name of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Punjab police chief Rao Sardar said on Saturday that investigators arrested prominent suspects after seeing video showing their role in inciting workers to violence, killing the manager and dragging his body outside, and taking selfies with his burning body and proudly admitting what they did.

Mr Sardar, in his initial report to authorities, said the victim had asked the workers to remove all stickers from factory machines before a foreign delegation arrived.Friday’s attack came less than a week after a Muslim mob burned a police station and four police posts in north-western Pakistan after officers refused to hand over a mentally unstable man accused of desecrating Islam’s holy book, the Koran.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40759137.html
 

ramonmercado

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Another lynching by an Islamist mob.

A mob has killed a man for allegedly burning pages of the Koran in central Pakistan, police say, in the latest case of blasphemy-related violence in the country.

Police say more than 80 people have been arrested in connection with the killing on Saturday in the district of Khanewal in Punjab province.
Reports said the man was in police custody before a crowd snatched him. His body was handed over to his family and a funeral held on Sunday.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said the case would be "dealt with the full severity of the law" and asked for a report on police officers accused of failing their duty to save the man. His government, he said, had "zero tolerance for anyone taking the law into their own hands".

Police official Munawar Hussain said officers arrived to find the man, reportedly in his 40s, unconscious and tied to a tree. Khanewal is located 275km (170 miles) south-west of Lahore.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-60368498
 

ramonmercado

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Yet another lynching by an islamist mob.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A student was beaten and burnt to death Thursday by fellow students in northwestern Nigeria after she was accused of making a blasphemous social media post, witnesses and police said.

Deborah Samuel was killed in the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto state after being accused of “making a social media post that blasphemed ... Prophet Muhammad,” according to a police statement. Two students have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Authorities also closed the school indefinitely, in a bid to calm frayed nerves in that part of Nigeria where residents have in the past violently reacted to actions or comments deemed anti-Islamic.

Witnesses said Samuel, a second-year college student whose age was not made public, was immediately attacked by her fellow students after she criticized a religion-related post on the students’ WhatsApp group.

“She was angry the way Muslims were talking about Islamic affairs in that WhatsApp group, which made her to make some un-Islamic utterances against Prophet Mohammed,” said Basharu Guyawa Isa, a resident and human rights activist in Sokoto.

The school authority quickly deployed security personnel to protect Samuel but they were overpowered by angry youths.

“Students forcefully removed the victim from the security room where she was hidden by the school authorities, killed her and burnt the building,” said Sokoto police spokesperson Sanusi Abubakar.

A video of the incident posted on social media and verified by The Associated Press showed Samuel lying on the ground as she was stoned and beaten with planks. The young men surrounding her then dumped tires on her, and set them ablaze.

https://apnews.com/article/africa-religion-social-media-nigeria-7342dd7bc54a56afdd1797bb6eab2d63
 

ramonmercado

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Yet another lynching by an islamist mob.

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A student was beaten and burnt to death Thursday by fellow students in northwestern Nigeria after she was accused of making a blasphemous social media post, witnesses and police said.

Deborah Samuel was killed in the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto state after being accused of “making a social media post that blasphemed ... Prophet Muhammad,” according to a police statement. Two students have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Authorities also closed the school indefinitely, in a bid to calm frayed nerves in that part of Nigeria where residents have in the past violently reacted to actions or comments deemed anti-Islamic.

Witnesses said Samuel, a second-year college student whose age was not made public, was immediately attacked by her fellow students after she criticized a religion-related post on the students’ WhatsApp group.

“She was angry the way Muslims were talking about Islamic affairs in that WhatsApp group, which made her to make some un-Islamic utterances against Prophet Mohammed,” said Basharu Guyawa Isa, a resident and human rights activist in Sokoto.

The school authority quickly deployed security personnel to protect Samuel but they were overpowered by angry youths.

“Students forcefully removed the victim from the security room where she was hidden by the school authorities, killed her and burnt the building,” said Sokoto police spokesperson Sanusi Abubakar.

A video of the incident posted on social media and verified by The Associated Press showed Samuel lying on the ground as she was stoned and beaten with planks. The young men surrounding her then dumped tires on her, and set them ablaze.

https://apnews.com/article/africa-religion-social-media-nigeria-7342dd7bc54a56afdd1797bb6eab2d63

Islamist mobs are running amok but fake news is making the situation worse.

After the killing of Deborah Samuel, a Christian, second-year student in the northern Nigeria city of Sokoto on Thursday for alleged blasphemy, fake news and disinformation have been widely shared on social media.

A war of words erupted on Twitter and Facebook between some Muslims and Christians in the country, with each side accusing the other of intolerance and extremism.

Two days after the killing, a peaceful protest in Sokoto turned violent, with demands for the release of the suspected killers of Ms Samuel. A plethora of fake pictures, videos and posts have been shared by social media users to incite violence and cause further damage and division in the country.

Many of the fake stories are accompanied by comments on why Nigeria should be divided between the predominantly Muslim north and Christian south.

Facebook user Emeka Fans Page posted a video in which he makes many claims, one of which is "Sokoto people done butcher all the whole Christians in their state".

His video has been viewed over 670,000 times and shared more than 5,000 times. He also urges his followers to continue sharing the video.

A police statement said two protesters were shot by the police when they tried to occupy the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto, the spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims.

There are some genuine videos that show protesters burning tyres on streets, wielding machetes, knives and sticks while running across the streets and chanting Islamic prayers. Another video showed people looting and burning shops in a market. But there is no evidence of killing or butchering as claimed by Emeka Fans Page.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-61456485
 

ramonmercado

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So merciful and compassionate.

Nigerian police say a man who had a row with a Muslim cleric died in the capital, Abuja, after being set ablaze by a mob supporting the cleric.

Ahmad Usman, 30, was in a local vigilante group and police say about 200 people were mobilised against him. Eyewitnesses said the row was over an alleged blasphemous remark, but the police have not confirmed this.

Last month, a Christian student was killed by Muslim students who accused her of blasphemy in the city of Sokoto.

The Abuja victim was described by police as "a member of the local vigilante around Tipper garage at Federal Housing Estate in Lugbe Area".
Police found him at the scene with severe burns and took him to hospital, but he died of his injuries.

BBC Abuja reporter Chris Ewokor says there appears to be a rise in mob violence in Nigeria.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-61691819
 
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