The protests against the acquittal of the Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was originally convicted to death sentence for blasphemy in 2010, continued on Friday, the third day in a row. Photo: Muhammad Sajjad / AP / NTB scanpix
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During the caricature struggle and for many consecutive years, Moslems in several countries have demonstrated against the offense of the Prophet. In Norway alone, over 3.000 people gathered to demonstrate against caricature drawings of the prophet Mohammad; and they would not hesitate to demonstrate once again.

It is not difficult to mobilise Moslems to continue the offense hysteria. It has always been, and still is, a sore point to the most radical Islam, as well as the so-called moderate ones, to see drawings of the Prophet. Several of the demonstrants in Oslo were young Moslem men and women, and several of those standing on the barricades to silence critique of Islam are young, educated Moslems who take it for granted that the West must oblige to their needs in order to avoid being exposed to ridicule.

These patriarchal circles assemble to halt freedom of speech as long as it offends their sensitive prophet. The very same freedom of speech that they utilise to demonstrate against something they do not like, they will remove from others. Uncivilized and unlawful demonstrations contribute to strengthen the image of Islam to the West. Furthermore, such undemocratic actions are welcomed, and it has cost the society large amounts of money to protect those speaking up and those who want to defend those speaking up, as well as those who want to defend blasphemy and freedom of speech.

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Massive damages, embassies set on fire, and loss of human lives is the result we have after having drawn the prophet.

Islam does not endure offense. Time and time again, this has been confirmed to us, one year after another. We are now facing the most critical age in our history concerning freedom of speech. Asia Bibi was last week acquitted of the death penalty for argumenting against Moslems. The fact that a Christian woman fetches water from the same well as Moslems equals to making the water unclean. Furthermore, this exposes a rather ugly view of human beings. In their eyes, Christians are less worthy. Consequently, Asia is imprisoned and has had to wait for her fatal punishment for nine long years.

In Pakistan, they have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever with her. On the contrary, fierce demonstrations and protests occur, resulting in schools and roads being closed. The fierce protests are not in favour of releasing the woman; but to demonstrate threats and call for the murder of the judges who set her free.

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Her brave solicitor, Saif-Ul-Mulook, says that he himself fears for his life after having defended her. He has neither protection nor support and the road is paved for the violent mob who wants to kill him and all involved. We know of forces in Pakistan that any time can utilise barbaric blasphemy laws to protect their faith. Mashal Khan was lynched and killed for allegedly having spread blasphemy in social media. Later, this showed itself to be merely rumours. That students at a university can perform such barbaric actions to protect the religion of peace, tells that the danger that threatens freedom of speech is extremely real.

It is disturbing to see how strongly the opposition to blasphemy stands; even more disturbing is the fact that all the world’s leaders remain silent on this issue. Erna might have labelled this religious racism. Støre may state that the Norwegian Moslem youth are worst off, but we all know who are the real victims; those who are presently living on borrowed time and who likely will be executed in Pakistan in the near future.

So now I wonder, how many demonstrate against this violation of human rights, freedom of speech, and the rights of Christians? Where are the many demonstrations for this woman, her solicitor, and those who are now facing the danger of being killed for defending her?

41 per cent of Norwegian Moslems would punish blasphemy. Seven per cent totally agree that blasphemy must be punished by death. Seven per cent of 200.000 people are quite a lot, and these attitudes are kept alive as long as the mosque is rewarded with large amounts of money. Moslems in Norway now have a great opportunity to set a good example. Quite some moderate Moslems would have gladly protected this woman and her solicitor. Can they come forward now, and show their solidarity with Asia Bibi?

Translated to English by Lars Hoem

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