“Weapon-wielding mobs of Sudanese protesters have demanded the execution of British teacher Gillian Gibbons.
Thousands joined together on the streets of Khartoum, some with knives and sticks, shouting for a harsher sentence for the mother-of-two jailed for 15 days on Thursday.
Mrs Gibbons, 54, was found guilty of insulting Islam and escaped a punishment of 40 lashes. But her sentence was seen as lenient by Sudan’s hardline Muslim clerics.” - http://news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=6859416
Insulting Islam? Interesting. People all over the world have expressed outrage, rightly so, about finding somebody guilty of offending an entire religion and blaspheming by naming a teddy bear “Mohamed”. “It is outrageous!” they claim, that naming a teddy can be an insult to Islam. They’re right, but haven’t the governments and courts and everyone else forgotten something else:
Who cares? Yes, who cares if the teddy is or isn’t an insult to Islam, or blasphemy to “god”, the Easter bunny, or anything else? It doesn’t matter if this women DID insult Islam or not.
Blasphemy is not a crime. If I want to say that Islam is an evil plagiarisation of the ramblings of ignorant primitive Jews, and not worth the paper it was written, that’s my right. The right to freedom of speech is a corollary of the right of free expression; man must express himself in order to flourish and enjoy life. Therefore this is a corollary of the right to exist. Those who deny the right to free speech of ANY and EVERY subject are denying individual rights, the only real rights that exist. Those who wantonly violate the rights of others without cause have forfeited their own, and deserve no respect or rights themselves.
Even if blasphemy was a crime, are we to believe that god isn’t old enough and tough to take care of himself? What’s that expression: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me”. Well, I assume god doesn’t have bones, so I imagine names will hurt him even less. Of course if god was just the invention of primitive power-hungry bigoted men passed on by authority and force over centuries, we might expect HUMANS to get on the defensive when their boogie-man in the sky was insulted.
On a side note, this is exactly why, in principle and practice, democracy doesn’t work. The very fact that a majority of people in a country can declare blasphemy a crime is to sacrifice the rights of free speech of one or any number of people to the majority; it is to say that a minority does not deserve to exist, except for the whim of the majority. Not only are individual rights non-negotiable, this kind of social / ethical collectivism can only lead to moral subjectivism. And if we’re reduced to moral subjectivism, no one has any right telling anyone what is right, wrong, or “offensive” or not. Not even the deranged religious fanatics who want an innocent woman to die for “offending” them.