are being killed in these protests. If protests from Karachi to Algiers are to mean anything, they are only to remind us that the compulsion to ban and kill to protect a ban on free speech exists all over, and that the sentiments of the attackers didn't come from nowhere. The idea that speech--ironic speech, critical speech, vulgar speech, should be met with death, is a sentiment enshrined in some nations' very being. Which does nothing to hallow it.
Take Pakistan, where very recently over a hundred schoolchildren were killed by extremists, whose legislature seems to be mouthing the extremists line. "Death to blasphemers?" Like, death to Asia Bibi, whose alleged blasphemy charge is very thin indeed? Like, death to Veena Malik? Like death to Rimsha Masih--a mentally challenged child falsely accused?
The blasphemy laws in Pakistan are clearly arbitrary and can be politically motivated and terribly subjective. How does anyone look at lawmakers cheering the terrorists who killed people in France as anything but terrorist sympathizers--as being murder-minded and encouraging to people who feel this way?
It very much reminds me of the Justice Potter Stewart definition of obscenity: "I know it when I see it." Which is subjective enough to do no one any good.
I am not sure why countries have populations that find speech a greater offense than the slaughter of people who are trying to say something--except I do understand, these countries are settling political scores internally and are happy enough when people are distracted by apostasy and don't fixate on the ways they are oppressed at home--so they foster this outlook internally as well. (Do they also support anti-blasphemy protests--a thing I wonder.)
I'm with the protesters from the picture at the top of the post. Blasphemy laws are witch hunts. They serve no good purpose. They should be ended, to show that the nations so ending don't stand with terrorists who try to cozen people by killing those exercising their free speech.
I know. I have a rich fantasy life that I think this could ever happen.