The blasphemy laws were in force in the country since 1940. The Pirate Party has proposed the repeal after the attack that targeted Charlie Hebdo in France in January.
Mock religion and its practices is not prohibited by law in Iceland : Parliament of the island of the North Sea has voted to legalize blasphemy on Thursday, reports the American newspaper New York Times . Launched in February, the bill was carried by representatives of the members of the Pirate Party. The latter came to the Althing, the country’s parliament, in the last parliamentary elections in April 2013.
The proposal of the Pirate Party was to end the anti-blasphemy law, in force since 1940 . Next one, the fact of “ridiculing or insulting the dogmas or practice of an existing religious community” was punished by fines or imprisonment of up to three months. The idea to stop these anti-blasphemy rules emerged in the wake of the attack in the writing of Charlie Hebdo in January, in which eight journalists of writing satirical newspaper ansi four other people were killed.
Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Birgitta Jonsdottir and Olafsson Jon Por, three elected Pirate Party, have thus brought a bill ending the penalties for blasphemy. “Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy. It is fundamental in a free society, everyone can express themselves without fear of punishment, whether from the authorities or other people, “says the text, translated from the Icelandic by the site Island Monitor.
The proposal, as it may seem controversial, gathered a broad consensus within the class political and religious representatives. The Office of the Bishop of the Church of Iceland, which represents the national Lutheran church in the country and represents 80% of the population, said from the outset that “any legislative power limiting freedom of expression “as was the case with the law in force since 1940, is” out of step with modern designs in respect of human rights. ” “Freedom of expression is one ofMore important pillars of democracy”, added the national church, and containing the text of the legislative proposal.
Opposition Voices are nevertheless amounted within the Catholic Church, arguing that “religion and the image of God are important aspects” to religious people and that “it should be protected by law “.
” I Charlie Hebdo “
Thursday, Parliament finally proceeded to vote on the text. During the election, the three parliamentarians Pirate Party introduced themselves in turn to the podium to pronounce the sentence: “I am Charlie Hebdo ,” said the Iceland Monitor. “The Icelandic parliament has issued an important message: freedom will not give face to the bloody attacks”, welcomed the Pirate Party after the vote
This legislative amendment is a victory for the Party. pirate, who maintains stormy relations with other Icelandic political parties. A week before the vote, Prime Minister of Iceland had also warned in an interview, a high score against the Pirate Party in the next national election. It would be difficult, he said, to preserve the values defended by Icelanders for decades. An attack that reflects concerns of the traditional parties facing the progression of small political in Icelandic society: if the party is currently the least represented in Parliament, the Pirate Party has the wind in its sails and is placed in the polls as the only achieve over 30% of the vote.
According to the Pew Research Center data dating back to 2012, a blasphemy law is in force in nearly half (47%) of the world’s countries and territories. In Europe, half a dozen countries are involved: Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Italy and Greece. A campaign of the International Humanist and Ethical Union was launched following the January attacks to end these laws. Since, like Iceland, Ireland was born a debate on the merits of its blasphemy laws.