In its continued war on freedom of speech, the Islamic world is pressing for international laws against the criticism and mockery of religion. Particularly their religion.
The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, wonders why no Western country considers Islamophobia to be a crime against humanity. He plans on bringing the issue up before the United Nations next week and will urge the passage of legislation against blasphemy.
Also the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Egypt, Ahmed el-Tayeb has called upon UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to criminalize blasphemy against Islam. Note - just against Islam - he apparently wants to keep his options open about blaspheming against other religions.
And that's the problem with criminalizing blasphemy isn't it? Every religion is a blasphemy against every other religion. Every sect, cult, or denomination within a religion is a blasphemy against every other sect, cult, or denomination.
Logically, criminalizing blasphemy criminalizes religion. Every religion.
And the extreme stupidity of blasphemy laws was shown this week in Pakistan where a man was charged with blasphemy for refusing to join a demonstration against that silly film which hardly has been seen by anyone, The Innocence of Muslims. That's right - failing to join a mob demonstrating against blasphemy is now considered blasphemy. The history of blasphemy cases in both Pakistan and Egypt show that charges are brought on the flimsiest of evidence, frequently invented.
Also the leaders of Iran, regularly screaming for the death of Pastor Terry Jones for the blasphemy of his periodic burning of a Koran or sometimes several Korans, show their understanding of blasphemy by having officially condemned and burned 6,500 Christian Bibles in 2011. But that's OK. As far as they are concerned, it isn't a holy book. Blasphemy is in the eye of the beholder.
And the leading "thinkers" of the Islamic world want to extend this system of injustice... this affront to basic human rights... this arrogant trampling on the right of freedom of thought and speech... to the entire world.
Yet the real blasphemy against Islam is Islam as practiced today. The excessive reverence for the prophet Muhammad and the excessive reverence for printed copies of the Koran are entirely contrary to the teachings of Muhammad.
Muhammad preached a very austere version of monotheism. God is holy, and that's it. He destroyed the idols - 360 of them in the Ka'ba were smashed by him personally. He intended there be no more idols.
And yet, Muslims have essentially set Muhammad and every single physical copy of the Koran (millions are printed each year) up as new idols - revered and beyond criticism. They have been set up there almost with Allah as holies of holies.
And that's Islam's blasphemy against itself.
As a late addition, just before this was about to be published, another side of Islam has been shown by Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, Egypt's highest Islamic legal official. He said:
Mohammad endured the worst insults from the non-believers of his time. But his example was always to endure all personal insults and attacks without retaliation of any sort... this should also be the reaction of all Muslims."
This kind of thinking is more in line with the claim that Islam is a religion of peace. It's too bad more Muslims do not think this way.