The antidote to blasphemy is not blunt and counterproductive law but efforts by civil society — specifically political and religious leaders cooperating across religious and ideological lines — to condemn any curtailing of religious rights or speech that incites violence.
We saw this working in New York City when Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other religious leaders stood with the mayor in August 2010 in support of Muslim leaders who wanted to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site.
Those "spurious allegations" being that Rimsha, a girl of 11 who has Down Syndrome, blasphemed Islam by supposedly burning pages of the Koran. Hard to see how that's "spurious," though, since it isn't as though there's much--or, indeed, any--wiggle room in the blasphemy component of Islam's sharia law.We are seeing it now as the All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, joins with the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christians, Sikhs and members of other religions, to support Rimsha Masih and to call for an end to the “climate of fear” created by “spurious allegations.”
As for that bit of fluff about Christians and Jews standing with Muslims in support of erecting a triumphalist mosque at Ground Zero: that's not the way to constrain the spread of Islam's draconian punishments for blasphemy. Just the opposite, in fact, because it encourages Muslims of a triumphalist bent to think that they're making headway in Dar al Harb, the portion of the world that is not yet governed by sharia.
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