This is the kind of law that Islamic supremacists want to bring West, and an increasing chorus of Western Leftists is joining them in the call to criminalize criticism of Islam. “Turkish pianist Fazil Say goes on trial accused of insulting Islam on Twitter,” from the Associated Press, October 18 (thanks to all who sent this in):
ISTANBUL — A top Turkish pianist and composer appeared in court on Thursday to defend himself against charges of offending Muslims and insulting Islam in comments he made on Twitter.
Fazil Say, who has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others, is on trial for sending tweets that included one in April that joked about a call to prayer that lasted only 22 seconds.
Say tweeted: “Why such haste? Have you got a mistress waiting or a raki on the table?” Raki is a traditional alcoholic drink made with aniseed. Islam forbids alcohol and many Islamists consider the remarks unacceptable.
Prosecutors in June charged Say with inciting hatred and public enmity, and with insulting “religious values.” He faces a maximum 18 months prison term, although any sentence is likely to be suspended.
Say, who has served as a cultural ambassador for the European Union, rejected the charges and demanded his acquittal, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency….
Say, 42, is a strong critic of the Islamic-rooted government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a devout Muslim who has preached conservative values, alarming some secular Turks who fear the government plans to make religion part of their lifestyle….
In a report on Turkey’s progress toward membership issued last week, the EU criticized Turkey for “recurring infringements of the right to liberty and security and to a fair trial, as well as of the freedom of expression.” It said restrictions on media freedoms and an increasing number of court cases against writers and journalists remained “serious issues.”…
On Thursday, Egemen Bagis, the minister in charge of relations with the EU, suggested the case against Say should be dismissed saying the court should regard Say’s tweets as being within “his right to babble.” However, he criticized the pianist for “insulting people’s faith and values.”
The charges against Say also cite other tweets he sent, including one “” based on a verse attributed to famous medieval poet and wine-lover Omar Khayyam “” which questioned whether heaven was a tavern or a brothel, because of the promises that wine will flow and each believer will be greeted by virgins.
Say has since closed his Twitter account and has said he plans to leave Turkey for Japan. His lawyer said Say has received some death threats….
What a surprise.