Will An International Blasphemy Law Hurt The Interests Of Muslim Minorities In The United Kingdom?
In a world that is contemplating international blasphemy laws that will lead to the suppression of free speech cries of ‘heretic’ (and even allusions to it) are very alarming. We have had our share of that sort of thing historically in the West and it would be unacceptable for our societies to move back in that direction.
The Huddersfield Examiner has reported that the Kirklees Muslims Action Committee appears to have accused another Muslim group of just that, though they do not seem to have mentioned the ‘H-word’ specifically. According to an article in the Huddersfield Examiner:
“They claim that the Ahmadiyya Muslims are not true Muslims and have condemned them for hosting an exhibition of the Holy Koran.”
Whether or not this represents an accusation of heresy, it does not seem to be a very tolerant or inclusive attitude to take. So long as people do not impose their religious beliefs on others then surely people should be able to worship God in their own way?
It is true that the World Muslim League, in what could be described as a kind of Council of Nicaea episode, made a declaration repudiating the Ahmadiyyat movement, but does such a statement of opinion mean that something is so?
The article goes on to report:
“…Mr Amar Usman Ali, a spokesman for the Action Committee, said they were offended by the event.”
We see the word ‘offended’ in almost constant use these days as a means to silence debate and discussion on religious issues. It is something that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) seems to want make into a global norm, and which Western governments seem willing to indulge in via the ‘Istanbul Process’.
Under an international blasphemy law would religious minorities in the United Kingdom be persecuted by the state? Would the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community be accused of ‘hate speech’ or ‘blasphemy’ by simply claiming to be Muslims? Since the OIC appears to want to use the ‘Istanbul Process’ to apply OIC values to the entire world, perhaps we should take a look at the model for the international blasphemy law – the member states of the OIC itself. How is the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community treated in OIC member states? The following is from an article entitled ‘Harassment: Three Ahmedis accused under blasphemy laws’ and illustrates the situation in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:
“Sajeel Ahmed, 18, of Khushab was accused of making derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in a first information report (FIR) registered under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which carries the death penalty.” (Source: thepersecution.org)
More articles about the persecution of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community can be found HERE.
It is quite clear that by curbing freedom of expression Western Governments will also be placing very severe limits on religious freedom. If the commissars of the European Union think that such curbs would be a useful stick to beat majority populations with, it is quite clear that they would also adversely affect the interests of minorities who have fled to Europe to avoid such persecution. What sort of outfit is the European Union to even participate in the Istanbul Process? It says as much about it as it does of the OIC.
More information about the The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community can be found HERE.