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Norway reported to have criminalised blasphemy

Posted by James Hammerton @ 8:26 pm on 15 February, 2006.
Categories political liberties.
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The latest casualty in the Danish cartoons controversy appears to be the Norwegians’ freedom of speech:

DOHA, February, 15 2006, (IslamOnline.net) – The Norwegian parliament has amended the Penal Code to criminalize blasphemy in the wake of the republication of Danish cartoons that lampooned Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) by a Norwegian magazine, Christian and Muslim leaders in Norway said on Tuesday, February 14.

“Law 150-A, which has been approved by parliament, criminalizes blasphemy and clearly prohibits despising others or lampooning religions in any form of expression, including the use of photographs,” Norway’s Deputy Archbishop Oliva Howika told reporters after a meeting in Doha with Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

Howika was among a Norwegian delegation that also included the chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council in Norway, Mohamed Hamdan.

“Under the new law, the crime of blasphemy will be punished either by a fine or imprisonment,” Howika said, promising Qaradawi to fax him a copy of the law after being published in the country’s official gazette.

Hamdan regretted the burning of the Norwegian embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus, but said the government had blamed the magazine for the violent reaction.

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