Islam & Free Speech

On August 5, 1990 the Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers of the OIC ratified the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam which included:

Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which God made the best nation that has given mankind a universal and well-balanced civilization in which harmony is established between this life and the hereafter and knowledge is combined with faith; and the role that this Ummah should play to guide a humanity confused by competing trends and ideologies and to provide solutions to the chronic problems of this materialistic civilization.

ARTICLE 22: (a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari'ah.
(b) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari'ah.
(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.
(d) It is not permitted to arouse nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.

ARTICLE 24: All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah.

You don't even have to read between the lines to see that this is both a reiteration of Islamic triumphalism and explicit demands to make criticism of Islam illegal and subject to criminal sanctions.

On March 24, 2011 the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 (introduced by Pakistan a nation not usually considered a bastion of Human Rights) was passed. The aim of this resolution was to make criticism of Islam (under the guise of "inciting hostility") a violation of law in every country. It would be illegal to publish the anti-Muslim satire featured in Charlie Hebdo. Some impatient Muslims couldn't wait for it's implementation and took the law into their own hands - you've probably heard about it.

Resolution 16/18 follows seamlessly from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's "10 Year Plan of Action," adopted in 2005. They wish "to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments." Under Sharia these punishments are very severe.

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make [mischief / corruption / evil] in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement, Quran (5:33)

Free speech that is critical of Islam is "mischief" or "corruption" (as it is also translated) and the proper Sharia chastisement for this is pretty grievous:

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Quran (5:33)

So actually the Charlie Hebdo staff slaughtered by the Kouachi brothers got off pretty lightly except that their eternal punishment - according to Muhammad channelling Allah is even worse and lasts a lot longer.

Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise. Quran (4:56)

Its not as if these hopes by the OIC haven't been enshrined in law already. Section 295-C of the Pakistani legal code, mandates the death penalty for “blasphemy.” Pakistan’s Federal Sharia Court defines this law as:

reviling or insulting the Prophet in writing or speech; speaking profanely or contemptuously about him or his family; attacking the Prophet’s dignity and honor in an abusive manner; vilifying him or making an ugly face when his name is mentioned; showing enmity or hatred towards him, his family, his companions, and the Muslims; accusing, or slandering the Prophet and his family, including spreading evil reports about him or his family; defaming the Prophet; refusing the Prophet’s jurisdiction or judgment in any manner; rejecting the Sunnah; showing disrespect, contempt for or rejection of the rights of Allah and His Prophet or rebelling against Allah and His Prophet.

That's right, making an ugly face when Muhammad's name is mentioned is enough to have someone executed. So be careful if you're enjoying a holiday in beautiful Pakistan.

See also: Islam and Freedom of Speech - Wikipedia