Think this can’t happen here? We have the First Amendment, and all will be well? Think again: exceptions will be made, and they’re coming down fast. Free Speech Death Watch Update: “Pair held for ‘offending Islam,'” by Subir Bhaumik for BBC News, February 11 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
The editor and publisher of a top English-language Indian daily have been arrested on charges of “hurting the religious feelings” of Muslims.
The Statesman’s editor Ravindra Kumar and publisher Anand Sinha were detained in Calcutta after complaints.
Muslims said they were upset with the Statesman for reproducing an article from the UK’s Independent daily in its 5 February edition.
The article was entitled: “Why should I respect these oppressive religions?”
It concerns the erosion of the right to criticise religions.
In it, the author, Johann Hari, writes: “I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a ‘Prophet’ who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him.”…
Muhammad really did those things, according to Muslim sources, but as we have seen before, the truth is no defense in such cases.
Some Muslims close to the Jamiat-e-Ulema e Hind (The Organisation of Indian Scholars, a leading Islamic group in India) later filed a complaint with police alleging that the publication had “outraged their religious feelings”, which is an offence under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code.
Mr Kumar has said he has already issued a public apology for reproducing the article.
“I admit it was an editorial misjudgement but it was never intentional,” Mr Kumar told the BBC in an interview.
Kumar should not have apologized.