"Allies": Pakistan Gives Life Sentence for Burning Koran

I'm for religious tolerance. I've argued over and over that Muslims have the right to build mosques wherever they want. I don't support burning Korans. I've never burned an actual Koran, although I've had some fun with photoshop at the expense of the intolerant who want to saddle me with their religious customs through compulsion.

But I might burn a Koran now. Because I can. Because I'm free. It's the principle of the thing:

A Pakistani court on Tuesday jailed a 42-year-old Muslim man for life for burning a Koran, officials said.

Naseem Ahmed, a father of three, was arrested last June on charges of desecrating Islam's holy book in Lasda village in Pakistani Kashmir, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the regional capital Muzaffarabad.

No one is free in a country where blasphemy is outlawed. No one.

A fundamental human liberty is the right to criticize religion -- including the right to do things considered sacrilegious. People who are compelled by the force of law and threat of violence to respect religious icons and beliefs are by definition not free.

*I didn't actually burn this Koran. But I am having serious fantasies about it right now.

Posted by: Rusty at 03:15 PM


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