But they have had a blasphemy law in the books since 1940 that has no place in modern society.
Anyone officially ridiculing or insulting the dogmas or worship of a lawfully existing religious community in this Country shall be subject to fines or [imprisonment for up to 3 months.] Lawsuits shall not be brought except upon the instructions of the Public Prosecutor.
Iceland’s parliament agreed today to abolish the blasphemy provision of the Criminal Code… Icelanders have now taken an important step in guaranteeing human rights and joined other nations which respect freedom of speech and expression.
Despite having only 3 seats in the 63-seat Parliament, the Pirates got the job done. (There’s a reason the party could win several more seats in the upcoming election.)
Blasphemy is not a crime. Insulting or criticizing bad ideas, even sacred ones, should never be punishable with fines or prison time. This was the right move, and good on the members who voted the right way. (Only one member of Parliament opposed the bill while three abstained from voting.)
Your move, Ireland.
(Top image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Thorsteinn for the link)