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SBMontero

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20150506

The Blasphemy Crime

  There are two phrases that everyone should always keep in mind when talking about Democracy: "Freedom of expression is to be able to say what people don't want to hear" -George Orwell-, and "Without freedom of thought, freedom of expression is useless" -José Luis Sampedro-.

  Today there's a real commitment of politicians and media to make people believe that Democracy is only vote from time to time, accept what the majority vote and endure the consequences with "democratic" resignation. It isn't true. Moreover, the Greeks had a rather clarifying epithet for those who limited themselves to that, ιδιωτης.

  Democracy is much more than voting every four years, Democracy is being able to think, read, write, paint, draw and express what we want... vote also, but to do so with a minimum of guarantees it's necessary to be able to express and spread our thoughts, ideas and opinions, not only through the word, or the writing, by any means that we think convenient.

  If doing so is impossible, or if doing so means that we're fined, censored, or worse, persecuted and imprisoned, we must disabuse us, don't live in a democracy, we live in another thing.

  Since the fourth century BC. one of the most censored, persecuted, imprisoned and executed groups in history, contrary to what anyone can think, is the atheist... We can start with Socrates who, although he wasn't an atheist, did die condemned for being one, and ending with Ashraf Fayyadh, sentenced in 2015 to death in Saudi Arabia for being an atheist. The accusation since the fourth century B.C., with minimal variants, is always the same: Blasphemy.

  We can think that, outside Muslim countries, the crime of blasphemy doesn't exist, but we would be wrong.

  There're four countries in Europe that continue to prosecute blasphemy by law: Malta - only in 2012 imposed ninety-nine sentences for blasphemy, from fines to prison-, Spain -a little over two months ago the association of Christian prosecutors raised a petition to the Spanish courts to judge the winner of Las Palmas Carnival Drag Queen Gala... for blasphemy-, Denmark - although since 1939 no one has been condemned for blasphemy, then was used against a Nazi group by anti-Semitic propaganda, in February of this year began a trial for blasphemy against a Danish citizen for burning the Quran, record it and upload the video to Internet-, and Ireland, although Ireland entered at this select group in 2009 with the approval of anti-blasphemy laws and there's a broad citizen movement to hold a referendum and repeal them-.

  Right now the target of governments with blasphemy legislation is internet, and internet users. The pressure on social networks is evident. We have the example of Facebook, where believers of any religion censure articles, photographs, cartoons, or mere comments if they believe are "blasphemous". Facebook is the practical demonstration that atheists are the discriminated minority and their opinions are censored with the approval of Facebook administrators.

  Religious groups of all kinds, especially the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which groups fifty-six Islamic countries, are pressing the UN since the 1950s to get some sort of resolution against so-called "insults to religion", a bombastic name for blasphemy. The excuse is that if the UN adopted a resolution to that effect, religious minorities would be protected from discrimination. It seems a joke when precisely in those countries atheists are the discriminated minority and being recognized as atheist leads to prison, or worse. Unfortunately, it seems that, shortly, at the request of Saudi Arabia, a country well known for respect minorities, such as homosexuals, and even majorities, such as women, will be presented in UN ordinary session.

  There was already a resolution on 25 March 2010 voted by the United Nations Human Rights Council against "Defamation of religions", over a text submitted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (ICO), under the leadership of Pakistan, other country that, like Saudi Arabia, doesn't respect minorities rights or women's rights, the same country that condemned Mohammad Asghar to death for blasphemy in 2014. Reporters Without Borders rejected resolution of permission to religious fanaticism to persecute and eradicate any kind of criticism against religion.

  If religious groups get a approve UN resolution about, it will mean, de facto, that being an atheist, write about and recognize be one will constitute a crime worldwide, even more, censure and punish any criticism to religion will cease to be a crime against freedom of expression, free thought and the right to information. Atheists would again become the outlaws we were for fourteen centuries. That resolution would impact on national and international legislation and, of course, over Internet users.

  Perhaps, as freethinkers, as atheists, we should ask ourselves what we can do against this religious offensive that wants to obliterate reason, criticism, freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

Live long and prosper Ôo)-♫

Border profesional | Poldavo militante | Juntaletras forever | Cuando soy bueno, soy buenísimo, cuando soy malo... cuando soy malo SOY SENSACIONAL ¬¬)-♫

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SBMontero
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Poldavia, Europe

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