Repeal blasphemy laws around the world!
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Dear atheists, agnostics and believers, it is necessary to demand the abolition of the modern Inquisition. The minority of countries have already abandoned the laws called as insulting of believers’ feelings, sacrilege, blasphemy, insults to religious feelings.
By signing this petition, we declare the number of caring people who are ready to demand the following:
- repeal of blasphemy laws
- not associate blasphemy with extremism in laws
- abolition of fines for blasphemy
- abolition of blasphemy arrests
- abolition criminal investigations for blasphemy
- compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The purpose of this petition is to take a look through examples of countries protecting believers and God. Here you will see statistics, quotes from constitutions and criminal cases for insulting religious feelings in social networks. Also we’ll have a look through cases and such a tough struggle of human rights defenders.
This document is addressed to presidents, to unions of countries, and especially to you who cares about leaving their signature under the demand for repeal of blasphemy laws based on the UN reports.
Due to mass arrests, fines, or the death penalty for memes, constructive or erroneous criticism of religions, the UN issued a report repealing blasphemy laws. They explained that sacrilege laws usually has a frightening effect on members of religious minorities, as well as on canons’ critics and dissents.
Another UN expert called on states to abandon blasphemy laws, as well as all kinds of free expression restriction, creativity constraints and limitation of religious freedom.
As an example,there are multiple cases and persons accused of so-called extremism, which is usually identified with blasphemy. They are Ruslan Sokolovsky and Maria Motuznaya, who were charged for these cases and became the most illustrative examples of the modern Inquisition.
You will see multiple examples of punishments for blasphemy from the BCs to medieval times and nowadays in points below.
Pharaoh Echnaton was one of the first to insult the feelings of Egyptian priests trying to reform Egyptian religion as a monotheistic one.
Speaking of Egypt - this country tooks 6th place in the world for human rights violation on the religious ground. Those statistics were provided to us by the research of the US publisher “The economist”.
Article 98 (f) Blasphemy and extremism. Blasphemy against Islam, Christianity and Judaism is prohibited. Punishment: jail time of six months to five years or the fine from 500 to 1000 GBP.
In June 2014, a man from Luxor was convicted to 6 years imprisonment for his Facebook post with a photo, which was considered blasphemous to Islam. The investigation of this case showed no evidences that his motives were incitement to violence or sectarianism. His sentence is an obvious violation of international human rights law and goes against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It states that blasphemy laws are incompatible with the guarantee of civil and political rights.
In 2016, the poetess Fatma Naut was sentenced for insulting Islam. She published a poem on Facebook, the court charged her for "contempt of religion."
The text of the poem in that post refers to authorities criticism, prisons’ inhumanity, physical and psychological pressure in jails. Also there are some verses commited to conscripts who are forced to be faithful to Allah, thereby accusing the authorities of using dogmas as an instrument of enforcements. Likewise, the poetess tells us about the ceremonial killing of sheep during a Muslim holiday, as "the most terrible massacre committed by people." She appealed against bail for a three-year term, but after that the court overturned the appeal and upheld the sentence for contempt of religion.
Active debates on the abolition of this law has been ongoing since 2016, due to the growth of blasphemy charges against religious, political and media figures. The bill of repealment the blasphemy law was supported by 100 out of 596 deputies in the Egyptian parliament.
The initiator was Dr. Amna Nasir. She has a doctorate grade of Islamic law at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. She is highly regarded by many Egyptians. Dr. Nasir said that “Islam encourages people to believe and does not call for imprisonment as punishment for anyone’s thoughts. For the sake of protecting my religion and the freedom of Sharia, I agree that the blasphemy law should be abolished. This bill will also protect three basic freedoms declaired in the Constitution — freedom of thoughts, freedom of word and freedom of artistic expression. ”
The philosopher Socrates from the ancient Athenes insulted the religious feelings of the Greeks, "he did not honor the city gods, introduced new deities and corrupted young people" The philosopher prefered not to wait for obscurantists and took the poison himself. In 2012, the court acquitted him.
Greece takes 16th position according to the rank US Commission on International Religious Freedom worldwide.
Article 198 of the Greese Criminal Code states that vicious blasphemy is a crime. A citizen may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 3 months and a fine of at least 3000 EUR in case of contempt for God through blasphemy. Also public offences (or any religious reprobation) to the Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ or any other religion permitted in Greece. It is a crime under Art. 199, and it is punished by jail term of up to 2 years.
A man was arrested in Evia in September 2012 due to charges of publishing “malicious blasphemy and religious abuse on Facebook.” The accused person created an account in social network and called it “Elder Pasticios Pastafarianin”.
He, as a pastafarian, actually made a wordplay in the name of that page by mixing the name of deceased Greek Orthodox monk (venerated as a prophet by group of people) and the name of Greek national food “pastitio”. He got a 10-month prison term for that.
The accused person Filippos Loisos appellated the case in 2017, and his sentence was canceled only because of its similarity with an Ancient case. In that case the similar crime was related to misconduct.
The Orthodox Church is the state religion in Greece. Human rights organizations, including the Greek Humanist Union, supported repeal of the blasphemy art. 198. This law was repealed in 2019, after a couple of noteworthy cases and international criticism.
Jesus Christ was sentenced to crucifixion for insulting the feelings of the Jews, organizing riots in temples; as it was stated in his cross: This is Jesus, King of the Jews.
Israel is on the 51st place in “The economist” list, despite the fact that eternal skirmishes with disputed territories should put it much lower.
Articles 170 and 173 of the Israel Criminal Code state that defiling religious relics, damaging temples or insults of any religion must be punished with 3 years of a jail. Offencive Internet publishing, offencive texts, images and soundtracks are also in-rate.
Israel has a crime-prevention algorithm, which also reacts on the antisemitic materials and hate to Jews. According to “Middle East Eye” and “Haaretz” publishers, Israel understands the powerful influence on the masses, which social networks clearly have. That country uses special soft on Facebook to remove posts or block accounts that mention that country or nationality in a negative way. That ban machine respond immediately in case of negative or controversial coverage of a political, religious or public position.
Of course, the misfire of the algorithms was proved in some cases, as it has happened with the user named Tikun Olam. He retweeted “The Times” article, which tells the tragic story of a suicide bomber at the age of 17, with the keyword "Israeli".
The owner of that account applied to technical support of Twitter and proved that the extremism recognition system reacted incorrectly due to some bugs. His tweet was about refuting the article.
400 Palestinian accounts were blocked because of that system. It is simply impossible to say now, whether that accounts had any posts with blasphemous or extremist theme, or whether they didn’t have ones.
Prophet Mohammed had a serious conflict with pagans in Mecca, whose feelings were insulted by his religion inappropriately.
Middle East occupies leading positions in violation of human rights, as well as the average ones. It is important to note that the statistics is actual for 2017, though. Many of Islamic countries take part in the organization of Islamic cooperation aimed at creating international laws against blasphemy.
They should be divided into subgroups, the death penalty is provided in the first of them. Others use physical methods of punishment and correction. Prison term for blasphemy in the third subgroup exceeds European standards up to 5 years.
Martin Luther was a theologian who criticized the Catholic Church and the Pope himself. Offensive to the church 95 theses of Luther ignited Europe and threw it into a fire of religious wars.
Germany ranks 39th in “The economist” rate. It should not be forgotten that Europe was flooded by people from Islamic countries for just a couple of years ago.
Article 166 in a German Crime Code states that public distribution of printed materials offencive for any religion, church or any religious and ideological communities in a form that could disrupt the public order, is punished by a fine or jail time up to 3 years.
According to “DW” researches, few prosecutors and judges can charge you for blasphemy in fact. Judging by police crime statistics in 2013, the vast majority of 60 blasphemy cases didn’t progress. German blogger called the Catholic Church a “Kinderficker sect” in 2011. Berlin courtyard refused to institute proceedings against him.
After the end of World War II, Germany passed a law banning the denial of the NSDAP crimes. As a result, with a more experienced use of the Internet, Bundestag voted for bill of social networks control. This bill prohibits holocaust denial or religious slander.
The German way of social networks control is a content complaint tool. In case of neglecting court’s decision or leaving prohibited content as it was, within 24 hours, a fine of 50 million euros is imposed. The German authorities see this as a way to abandon hatred and fake news, indigenous citizens consider this as another way of censorship.
Protest for exclusion of art. 166 from the criminal code has been held since 2015.
Giordano Bruno offended the feelings of Catholics, pointing out the logical errors of the Bible. He “blasphemously claimed that Earth is not the center of the universe”. And indeed “he was a sectarian, not a scientist”. Bruno did not just spread memes, but did performances where he deftly mocked superstitions, which really angered the performers of the Inquisition.
Italy considered the seventh worst violator of international norms in “The Economist” list. This is explained by the fact that the law on blasphemy in Italy is equal with hooliganism and profanity.
Article 724 of the Italian Criminal Code states blasphemy as an administrative offense. The penalty is a fine of 51 to 309 euros. Article 403 states public insults of a religion and expressing contempt for those who practice it as a crime, the punishment for this is a fine of 1,000 to 5,000 euros and imprisonment up to 2 years.
Italy adopted the defense of Catholicism in 1930 and made a huge contribution at the legislative level of imprisonment for blasphemy. An agreement on the separation of the church from the state was signed in 1984. Due to the fact that the Catholic Church was previously the state religion in Italy, the concept of blasphemy was established in Italian law on an equal basis with public abusives or insults to people.
Because of this mess, we are observing these statistics. For example, in 2017, the 27-year-old Nicolo de Paoli uploaded a video accusing and insulting local SWAT. Instead of prosecuting, he received a fine of 100 euros with the wording of “blasphemy”.
By 1999 the law was edited after public meetings against its controversial definition. The legislature replaced a specific religion with a generalized word.
Another online example is Oliviero Toscani. The Italian called the Catholic Church “a masochistic club” on the radio live stream, for what he was convicted of blasphemy and fined 4,000 euros.
In 2009, Manlio Padovan, a member of the Italian “Union of Rationalistic Atheists and Agnostics”, “Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti” (UAAR), funded an advertising campaign with a poster including that slogan: “Bad news is that God does not exist. Good news is that you don’t need bad ones”. The posters were seized by the police to “protect religious feelings”. Mr. Padovan was also prosecuted and finally, three years later, acquitted of a criminal libel case.
He is probably the only activist struggling against the blasphemy law, because the Italian media mainly publish 2013 UN reports "on the reasons for the repeal of blasphemy laws in all countries", which we spoke about at the beginning of the petition.
Galileo Galilei blasphemously argued that the Earth orbits the Sun. And the Holy Inquisition that did not depart from the ideas of Aristotle that the Earth is a sphere, did not wait long.
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin - being close to the inviolable elite, he deftly trolled the spiritual bond with the poem “A Tale of the Priest and his handyman Balda”. Due to the request of the Russian Orthodox Church, the word “priest” had to be replaced so that religious feelings would not be offended.
Russia takes 30th place on the list of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and Human Rights Violations due to blasphemy laws.
Article 148 of the Russian Criminal Code, an insult to the feelings of believers, is charged in rare cases, because a lot of believers, thanks to the resonance of affairs, recognize offencive materials harmless in fact - memes, music videos, films. As in many countries, this article is actually a bait for art. 282, which entails the inclusion into the list of extremists, accounts blocking, fines, charged person can be on probation or can get a prison term.
On December 27, 2018, the Russian president signed the law on partial decriminalization of Article 282.
Leo Tolstoy made sacrilege over the church’s sacraments in his novel “Resurrection”. Rapidly stepping the pet peeve of the Russian Orthodox Church, he achieved excommunication. Like Alexander Sergeyevich, he had an elite status of noble and passed the charge for insulting. Being dead, these guys still haunt clergymen. Judicial practice is sad as no one is acquitted except for Viktor Nachonov, who managed to prove his innocence during the appeal.
Charles Darwin offended the feelings of all believers on the planet, declaring apes as their ancestors.
John Lenon commited blasphemy, claiming his “Beatles” group as more popular than Jesus Christ. Christians themselves calmed down after his deep apology. England has a state religion and its own church, The Church of England. Along with this, its laws proclaim the UK as a secular state. The Blasphemy Act in Britain was repealed in 2008.
The United Kingdom supports a secular government: it is a constitutional monarchy that allows freedom of religion and allow religion to infringe neither any function of government nor the rights of citizens.
Mark Twain offended the feelings of Christians with his work "Letters from the Earth", where he denounced church dogma. The work went on sale only after 50 years of his death, since he gained a reputation of author banned from printing.
Martin Scorsese wasted $ 3 million on a picture that could not be shot due to complaints of insults from believers, as well as because of charge with trying to convey his interpretation of the biblical theme with homosexual motives.
The USA is a secular country and the first amendment of its constitution prohibits the government from passing laws regulating the creation of a state religion, prohibiting the free practice of religion, or encroaching on freedoms of speech and press. With the exception of states that had blasphemy laws since their foundation: Massachusetts, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania.
As an example we have “The Act Against Atheism and Blasphemy, adopted in 1697 in His Majesty's Province in the Gulf of Massachusetts in New England (1759)”. In case of any blasphemy charge against a citizen, they mainly immediately refer to the first amendment and the problem is solved.
Charlie Hebdo - a public media that offended the feelings of believers with its author’s memes.
France is not on the list, and it is a secular country. However, blasphemy remained a statutory law in the eastern region of Alsace-Moselle. The underutilized law became well-known in 2014, when the French Islamic group tried to use it to sue the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. This legal loophole was canceled by the French Senate in October 2016.
And I'm sure you have a question, what does Ukraine do in that list? Yes, that law is there too.
Article 161 in the Ukrainian Crime Code declares violation of the equal rights of citizens depending on their race, nationality, religious beliefs, disability, and other grounds, as a crime.
But in practice, nobody is being jailed for church libel or social networks blasphemy. Instead, the best friends of Patriarch Kirill from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate are being persecuted. For example, the Zaporozhye clergyman insulted the feelings of believers because of his selective approach to the conduct of religious rites. He gave preference to those who were baptized in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
This should be enough to understand magnitude of legal mistakes and stop the criminal prosecution for blasphemy.
Dear believers, if God cannot be offended, then why does the judge dare to assume such powers?
With love from Russia The Illuminati Initiative Group.
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