Friday, July 06, 2007

Free Speech It Ain't

Here’s a nice, little journalistic tidbit out of Azerbaijan, an oil-rich country north of Iran:

Baku Appeals Court here Friday approved on the Preliminary Civil Court verdict against officials of Azerbaijan Republic's San'at Qezti for offending Islamic sanctities.

According to Baku media sources, the Appeals Court has rejected the appeals request filed by Rafik Taqi, the writer of the blasphemous article, and the Editor in Chief of the said biweekly, Sedaqat Uqli, both of whom have been sentenced to three- and four-year prison terms respectively.

The appeals court of the two was held in absentia of the culprits and in the presence of a jury.

The West inclined low circulated San'at Qezty that is published once every two weeks published an insulting article against Islamic sanctities, including Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) last fall, that raised the outrage and the Azeri pious individuals, intellectuals, and various political, social and cultural circles in Azerbaijan Republic ever since then.
To sum up the article: A newspaper writer and editor said something that offended a group of Muslims. They were tried, convicted, and sentenced, and their latest appeal happened without them in the courtroom. It’s unclear whether “the culprits” are in jail or hiding out in another place.

Thank goodness there was a jury hearing the case. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been fair.

Gotta love the “West inclined low circulated” bit in this piece - way to propagandize! You must really feel secure in your way. Yeah ... really ... secure.

Whatever "blasphemy" these poor fellows wrote and authorized, it has apparently boiled the blood the Baku’s pious for something like nine months now. (Puking sounds, to be translated as moral indignation, e.g., "give me a break!")

An article like this reminds me of why I am glad to live in the United States and to have been born a Jew and not a Muslim.

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