Friday, July 3, 2015

Blasphemy now legal in Iceland, change spearheaded by anti-establishment, pro-freedom of speech party

7/3/15, "Now Legal in Iceland: Blasphemy," "Pirate Party spearheads law's repeal," newser, Rob Quinn

"Iceland has repealed an anti-blasphemy law that has been on the books since 1940, meaning its people are now free to ridicule religion to their heart's content. The country's parliament, the Althing, voted almost unanimously to remove blasphemy from the Icelandic Penal Code yesterday, the Iceland Monitor reports. The measure was spearheaded by three MPs from the anti-establishment, pro-freedom of speech "Pirate Party," who targeted the blasphemy law after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris earlier this year. Before the law was repealed, anyone found guilty of "ridiculing or insulting the dogmas or worship of a lawfully existing religious community" could have been fined or sent to prison for three months, the Independent reports. The Pirate Party is the smallest party in the Althing but polls show it could be the biggest after the next election, reports the New York Times, which notes that its leader recently compared the country's current government to the "final scene of a Game of Thrones episode—the only thing you know for sure that there’s probably something perfectly horrible about to happen.""


7/3/15, "Iceland makes blasphemy legal," BBC

"The Pirate Party"

The Pirate movement was formed in Sweden in 2006 and has since spread to more than 60 countries. None has seen as much success as the Icelandic branch, which says it is an "international political force fighting for genuine transparency and accountability in government".

In the 2013 election, it gained three MPs for the first time, and polls now say it is the most popular party in Iceland, with the support of 32.4% of the country.

In 2013, its members drafted a law calling for whistleblower Edward Snowden to be granted Icelandic citizenship."


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