Should it be illegal to insult Mohammed?

Should it be illegal to insult Mohammed? By Douglas Murray.

Should you be allowed to say that the founder of one of the world’s largest religions was a pedophile? According to the European Court of Human Rights the answer is ‘no’. In a decision issued this week the Court in Strasbourg ruled that this statement is defamatory towards the prophet of Islam, ‘goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate’ and ‘could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace.’ …

First allow me to point out what a difficult position this puts my book collection in. … The hadith are — next to the Qur’an — the most important foundational texts of Islam. And they state, repeatedly and without caveat, that the founder of Islam had sex with a girl of nine, who he had married when she was six. Mohammed was 53 at this time.

Not allowed to even depict Mohammed, let alone criticize him

Today we would call this pedophilia, and would have no difficulty in identifying it as such. Of course most of us would also remember that in the past different norms existed and we should try to understand their context. …

[The ECHR have decided] that truth is not a justification and so something else comes into play. … The answer is in that slimy little weasel-out of the ECHR: ‘religious peace’. To state what is in the texts of the Islamic religion risks – according to the ECHR – the peace which would otherwise exist between peoples. …

The civilisational problem here is that the Strasbourg ruling creates a two-tier critical environment in Europe. It creates an environment in which anybody can make claims about anybody who is dead, apart from when the subject is Mohammed. Over time that is the sort of thing that might give a chap an advantage. And presumably if it is not possible to refer to his domestic arrangements with safety then there is no reason why in time people should continue to be able to say anything negative about other aspects of his career. Leaving Islam to be the only set of ideas which cannot be mentioned — never mind criticised — in what is meant to be a free society.

So a fair amount is at stake here. Most importantly the whole system of critical inquiry which has made Europe what it is today. Something that revolves on one simple question. Are we allowed to say what we read in books? Or are we to lie in order to remain on the right side of the new blasphemy laws of our day?

It’s the end of free speech if we cannot criticize Mohammed for pedophilia.

A seventh century Arab is telling the EU what to do. Let’s pray it doesn’t get worse, but it probably will.

This is pretty awful — Europe is almost finished:

The return of blasphemy laws after hundreds of years. Europe is rushing back towards the dark ages. Bowing down to a foreign culture.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Scott of the Pacific