Jordanian poet goes to jail for blasphemy
If you live in a country without bullshit blasphemy laws, consider yourself fortunate. Islam Samhan, a 27 year old Jordanian, is facing up to a year in jail and a 10,000 Jordanian Dinar (14,000 US dollar) fine for his poetry book. The government claims he was blasphemous, but Islam contends the real reason he is being prosecuted is because of his unkind words about Arab rulers. Clearly, these guys don’t see a difference between speaking against God, and speaking against them.
These are what blasphemy laws are intended to do: silence dissenters who disagree with the established social order. Since these governments are essentially theocracies, any political action becomes a threat to the church, and can therefore be punished by blasphemy laws. It transforms what are otherwise political prisoners into religious heretics, effectively silencing dissent, and making their pious population revile these individuals. It’s why we have to fight these and other similar laws (remember the anti-blasphemy laws proposed by some of the countries in the UN?). We cannot allow free speech to be destroyed by these small minded idiots!