Free Speech Roundup

The Dutch parliament on November 29, 2012, abolished Holland's blasphemy law in a rare victory for intellectual freedom often under attack today from various self-anointed defenders of Islam. Yet the continuing existence of similar statutes throughout free societies in Europe and elsewhere, along with recent legal actions, show that the battle between Islamic faith and freedom is far from over. Drafted in the 1930s, the Dutch blasphemy law had not seen application for the last half century, prompting legislators to consider the law obsolete. Electoral losses among various rightwing parties in parliamentary elections last September also weakened the law's supporters. Additionally, some observers credit the successful defense in June 2011 of Dutch politician Geert Wilders against hate speech charges concerning his condemnation of Islam with an indirect role in influencing the law's abolition. Nonetheless, the Pew Forum has recently documented that blasphemy laws, along with prohibitions...(Read Full Article)