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Meditation 459
What is Blasphemy?

One person's orthodoxy is another's blasphemy.

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If we consider the dictionary definition of blasphemy, we find

blasphemy: 1. disrespect for God or sacred things; 2. something done or said that shows disrespect for God or sacred things.

This is a fairly narrow definition. It could be argued that as Islam teaches that Muhammad was a mortal man and not part of the deity, then insults to Muhammad are not blasphemy, rather the blasphemy consists of considering him somehow sacred.

Islam does not hue to the narrow definition.

In Pakistan, an illiterate 52 year old Roman Catholic laborer was charged with blasphemy for throwing stones at a wall on which a verse from the Qu'ran was written. His denial was discounted as he was not a Muslim and he was sentenced to life in prison. As if that was an insufficient penalty, his house was torn down making his wife and children homeless.

Also in Pakistan, and Islamic scholar was charged with blasphemy for making the logical claim that Muhammad's parents were not Muslim because the religion of Islam did not exist at that time. He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in jail.

The following opinions can all be considered blasphemy by one religion or another; and yet, the negation of the same opinions can all be considered blasphemy by one religion or another:

Unless you are prepared to be mindless, it is impossible not to blaspheme.