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Council of Europe body says blasphemy should not be illegal

29th May 2009, Comments1 comment

The body's constitutional law experts argued that while inciting religious hatred should be a criminal offence, blasphemy comes under freedom of expression.

Strasbourg -- Blasphemy is part of a person's freedom of expression and should not be made illegal, a Council of Europe advisory body said in a report published Wednesday.

The body's constitutional law experts argued that while inciting religious hatred should be a criminal offence, as is the case with almost all of the Council of Europe's 56 members, blasphemy comes under freedom of expression.

The Venice Commission also noted a distinction between blasphemy and insults prompted by a person's religion.

Blasphemy is punishable by death under the laws of Muslim countries. Many European countries also have laws against blasphemy, but rarely use them.

The Venice Commission is the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters.

AFP/Expatica

1 comment on this article Add a comment

  • 30th May 2009, 17:55:52 Keith posted:
    Blasphemy about what? The Catholic Church admits altering the Bible and adding the resurrection story and the Christmas story. In any case the Bible has thousands of translation errors-one of which placed the prophecy of Isaiah in the future tense when it was actually written in the present tense and not a prophecy at all. There is good evidence that the majority of the Hadiths are not original and that there has been more than one version of the Koran of which copies still exist. There are at least 45 Creation stories, many more credible than the Abraham versions, which anyway look to have been culled from earlier Mesopotamian myths. There can be no such thing as Blasphemy against invented doctrine or the self aggrandisement of the religious heirarchy.
 

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