European Court of Human Rights Promotes Human Wrongs

Jan 5, 2019 by

by Tommaso Virgili, Gatestone Institute:

October 26 marked a historic day for Ireland, where citizens, in a national referendum, overwhelmingly voted to repeal the country’s blasphemy law.

Blasphemy remains a serious offence in many parts of the world, in some Muslim countries even requiring the death penalty.

More astonishing is that even some European countries are criminalizing “defamation of religion”.

Recently, an actor was detained in Spain for failing to appear in court where he would face the accusation of “having insulted God and the Virgin Mary”.

The outcome of the Irish referendum will entail a modification of the Irish Constitution, which states in Article 40.6.1:

“The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”

While no prosecution for blasphemy has been recorded in Ireland since 1855, the Irish police in 2015 opened an inquiry into remarks by the British comedian Stephen Fry, who said live on television: “Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world so full of injustice and pain?”

Even the Catholic Church, in conjunction with other Christian groups, declared the constitutional ban on blasphemy “largely obsolete“, and called for its removal.

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