January 9th, 2015
12:35 AM ET

Blasphemy and the law of fanatics

By Fareed Zakaria

When governments try to curry favor with fanatics, eventually the fanatics take the law into their own hands. In Pakistan, jihadis have killed dozens of people whom they accuse of blasphemy, including a brave politician,Salmaan Taseer, who dared to call the blasphemy law a “black law.”

We should fight the Paris terrorists. But we should also fight the source of the problem. It’s not enough for Muslim leaders to condemn people who kill those they consider as blasphemers if their own governments endorse the idea of punishing blasphemy at the very same time. The U.S. religious freedom commission and the U.N. Human Rights Committee have both declared that blasphemy laws violate universal human rights because they violate freedom of speech and expression. They are correct.

Read the Washington Post column

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Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (1,605 Responses)
  1. Cuchumber

    MODI ::: The Father of Terrorism

    Narendra Modi is nothing more than a Hindu rat who is responsible for the genocide of minorities in India in the millions. I wonder where he was when India was invaded and conquered by a handful of playful kids. Wonder which trench he was hiding in? Wonder which hole he was in. Such cowards can only commit genocides.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • Abby

      A man who even can't take care of his wife how can he take care of his people? Not. Add domestic abuse to his charges.

      January 9, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  2. Cuchumber

    MODI :: THE TERRORIST

    It is so embarassing for Indians that their leader Natinder Modi is a pariah and considered a low caste bhungee in international circles. Nobody wants to talk to him nobody wants to give him a visa to travel. Modi is a murderer and a raipist. Everyone calls him chai walla ...aka tea boy. Is it true he has a live in boyfriend from Myanmar?

    January 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  3. chri§§y

    If you really wanta make a difference, go to India and MAKE a difference!

    January 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Cantor

      And get raiped like you were

      January 9, 2015 at 3:03 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        How absurd.

        January 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm |
      • Abby

        Nobody said mental stability and rational thought was chrissy's forte.

        January 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm |
      • banasy©

        How is "If you really wanta make a difference, go to India and MAKE a difference!" mentally unstable or irrational?

        It isn't.

        January 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm |
  4. Cuchumber

    WOW, hindus are the most hated people on this planet. It is so obvious. What pleasantly surprises me is that the whole world is now taking the time to let everyone know how they feel about Indians/hindus. A whole new generation of netizens has evolved making folks aware how evil India is and how evil hindus are. To them I say keep it up. Thank you for enlightening the world about the evils of hinduism and India.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  5. Cantor

    It is no secret that Hitler and his Nazi cronies sought inspiration from Indian extremist groups including the branding of his Nazi Party by adopting the Swastika, a traditionally Hindu symbol and representation of Hindu god Ganesha, as its marketing tool. The thesis being that like the Norwegian massacre the Jewish holocaust orchestrated by Hitler was inspired by the inherently violent cult of Indian Hindus and the manifesto of its then extremist/terrorist groups still in existence today. These groups are now the successors to and carrying out the vision of Al Qaeda all over the world albeit in a clandestine manner.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Jews were being rounded up and treated the way Jesus was treated for many centuries. Hitler did not orchestrate squat when it comes to Jews. He simply followed suit of what world rulers have been doing since Rome sacked the Temple and killed or enslaved every Jew God would allow them to find back in 70AD.

      January 9, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  6. Cristobal

    India is a TWO FACE SERPENT. A source of financing and inspiration for all terrorists in the world the likes of which have attacked thousand of innocents everyday across the world. A place where these extremists seek refuge after attacking neighboring countries. India is a Smithsonian specimen. Like humpty dumpty even USA, NATO and the entire free world are having a tough time holding it together. Living in the shadows of China, defined by bangladesh, haunted by Nepal and Myanmar and punctuated by zillion hindu extremist Terror Organizations, India is struggling to find a meaning for its existence and a place in the new world order. How can it stand up? certainly not on its feet .....perhaps on its knees to seek redemption.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  7. krm10070

    PAKISTAN !!!!

    THANK YOU …. THANK YOU…. THANK YOU!!!!

    FOR MAKING USA SAFE FOR MAKING THE WORLD SAFE>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Since Sep 11, 2001, over 200,000 Pakistani civilians, armed forces personnel have either sacrificed their lives or wounded; more than 3.5 million have been displaced while the country has lost over US $ 1 TRILLION due to terrorism.

    Despite sacrifices, Pakistan was still engaged in 'the war for world peace”.

    No other country has even come close to selflessly sacrificing so much.

    Pakistan, no one can ever repay you enough for your contributions.

    You deserve a permanent seat in the UN Security Council for your contributions to world peace and emergence of a new world order. We welcome your rise as the new regional military power. God Speed.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • Abby

      Not so per Fareed. But one can understand why. Thanks a bunch Pakistan.

      January 9, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  8. krm10070

    Fareed, you are a clown. You talk about human rights while millions have been maimed, raiped and slaughtered in your motherland India in Kashmir and Gujarat etc.

    You are nouveau fascist.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  9. Jack Murphy

    FRANCE STRONG!!!
    PAKISTAN STRONG !!!

    NOBODY WILL DICTATE TO THEM THEIR FREEDOM !!!

    THE FINISH LINE BELONGS TO THEM !!!

    THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THEM !!!!

    January 9, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  10. Hannah

    Well said @ krm, Cristobal and Cuchumber. You guys have nailed the core of the terrorism problem. Thank you to Pakistan. Fareed say thanks. You owe your freedom to Pakistanis.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  11. Philip

    What does and does not consti tute Bribery is clearly defined in the book where we got that word. (The bible) No need to listen to what subjective old women have to say about it.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Philip

      Blasphemy, rather. Though many bribe takers are blasphemers as well.

      January 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      Blasphemy is entirely subjective; the Bible is not followed world-wide; neither is the Quran.

      Legislating blasphemy laws against a people who do not follow that particular faith is a fool's errand; especially in the USA.

      Intelligent people know this.

      January 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • Philip

        Blasphemy is clearly defined in God's word. It is not subjective in the very least.

        January 9, 2015 at 3:37 pm |
      • Philip

        God is the Sovereign Ruler of the entire universe. Mankind are in subjection to God's laws no matter if they believe or not.
        Not one single unrepentant blasphemer will escape execution. Not one.

        January 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm |
      • banasy©

        Blasphemy is clearly subjective to the person interpreting God's Word.

        It is entirely subjective.

        January 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm |
      • banasy©

        This is your version of God, Philip; it is by no means universal, and stating such is your own subjective view.

        January 9, 2015 at 3:45 pm |
      • Philip

        God's word interprets itself and needs no man to do it. What men do is purposely mistranslate God's word from it's original languages into modern day ones. Intentional mistranslations to deceive people with.
        God will execute all unrepentant blasphemers so says The Word.

        January 9, 2015 at 3:46 pm |
      • banasy©

        Men mistranslating God's word? Then how do you actually know it is, indeed, God's Word?

        You have underscored my point; it is subjective to the person reading and interpreting it.

        Such as blasphemy laws being entirely subjective.

        January 9, 2015 at 3:50 pm |
  12. Blue Saffroń

    We are in a clash of civilizations. A fight of values. A war of wills. A battle of right v. wrong. This is going to be one long nasty affair where no one will emerge a victor. The worst is yet to come, unfortunately.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  13. Philip

    Funny how you Hindu haters are trying to blame Hitler for everything from NAZI Bayer AG doktors having them kidnapped and used as lab rats to him bringing the Swastika from Tibet. Rich German industrialists and medical doctors alike had been mistreating Jews long before Hilter came on the scene.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • ShiningStar

      It is ok for Indians to do gang raipes. It is ok for indians to indulge in diplomatic slavery. It is ok for Indians to burn brides alive fir dowry. But when CNN reports on it they yell racism, spreading hate.

      January 9, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Bigotry is bigotry, no matter the faith of those pointing the finger.

        Lot of hate on these blogs. It isn't Indians or Hindus spewing it.

        January 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm |
  14. Blue Saffroń

    Fareed, please look at the world standing on your feet not while doing headstands. Unfortunately, none of the above will improve blood circulation upstairs.

    Your view of the world is through the prism of Indian intelligence services called RAW. Say it ain't true and I will show you the view from the other side.

    January 9, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • ShiningStar

      LOL. Strong words. Fareed needs to be shown the mirror. With the image of El Diablo embedded.

      January 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Reply
    • Bo Burnside

      You da man. Say it as you see it.
      Thank you for your wisdom and brilliant analysis.

      January 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  15. Abby

    Good one! Not sure even if a blood transfusion will help FZ at this stage. My extreme bad.

    January 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  16. steve L

    I do not understand how journalists for the major news outlets can sleep at night. While I understand that conflict sells I am at a loss as to why you mislead and deceive. The attack on Charlie H in France was televised "live" by france24. It was shown as a live broadcast however this live program was editted and the person behind the video camera was wearing body armor. Why and how can this be considering this was a surprise attack. This is the same type of reporting that we have seen since 9-11. Dan Rather had it right. Absolutely no integrity in reporting. If you actually reported accurately, millions of people would not be dead today. If you reported on the true reason for 9/11 we would never be in the Middle East killing innocent people. 9/11 was not committed by Islamic terrorists. They did not have the technology to do what was done. All you need to do is look at the track of Hurricane Erin on Sept 11 2001. People wonder where the building went well connect the dots. Had the news reported correctly, we would have never wasted our time and resources looking for Osama. The main desired outcome of 9/11 was to steer public opinion toward retaliation. It worked didn't it? Thanks to the efforts of CNN and others who choose to report what they were told to report. You mention that since 911, 3700 service men have been killed in action. You also make a brief mention of the million or so Iraqi citizens that were killed and referred to as collateral damage. One million plus iraqi's are collateral damage? What is it, do we have really bad aim or is it we have really good aim. That is not collateral damage, that is a slaughter and by not reporting the truth you are a participant in this slaughter. Can you sleep at night knowing that the omission of material facts are aiding in the murder of innocence. The ripping apart of families and the very bitter resentment of the US by its victims. If you had even a speck of integrity, you would do the correct thing and fight against this misrepresentation. Eventually, the truth will come out and I have to say many people are catching on. When it does, the people who deliberately mislead the American people will be held accountable.

    January 9, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • ShiningStar

      Your last two sentences are like frozen music. Thank you for sharing your views.

      January 9, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • Mark S

      Did you plagiarize this from @Blue Saffron? I am pretty sure he posted this before.

      January 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        I'm pretty sure Blue didn't. It doesn't say anything about India.

        January 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm |
  17. chri§§y

    And how did i become your focus @ abby? You being a newly made up name should not even know i exist! It does make me wonder tho, why a guy like adam keeps choosing clearly female names to post under. What kinda of rational and mental stability is that?

    January 9, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Reply
    • ShiningStar

      Are you implying your name is made up too by that same character? Or is it a hindu mythological name?

      January 9, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Ignorant is believing that everyone posting on these blog is either Indian or Hindu.

        January 9, 2015 at 5:48 pm |
  18. chri§§y

    My name IS my name short for Christine you idiot! Does that sound like a hindu name to you? And i only use that ONE name to ever post under, unlike you. And thats because i am not afraid to say what i think, again unlike you. If you truly believed what you post you wouldnt hide behind stupid made up names, dozens of them and you wouldnt steal others names here!

    January 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  19. Blue Saffroń

    Adam and Eve had one thing in common, an apple. Fareed and CNN have one thing in common irrational blasphemous journalistic fanaticism. In a word, "Plagiarism". Never the twain shall meet. I agree Mr. Kipling

    January 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      Actually, apple doesn't appear in the Bible at all.

      January 9, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Reply
      • Bo Burnside

        These are Gala apples for apple pies. Lol

        January 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm |
      • banasy©

        I suppose so; they are still not what Adam and Eve ate.

        January 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm |
      • rupert

        Facepalm®

        January 9, 2015 at 6:21 pm |
  20. Bo Burnside

    shut up chrissy. The more you open your mouth the more bad breath.

    You have more names that Durga Maa a hindu myyhological character with fangs and multiple hands and legs like your many names. Take a hike. BTW I have yet to read anything sensible come out of you.

    Now that you have been put in place, f ukk of. I dont want to hear from your again.

    January 9, 2015 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  21. chri§§y

    @ Bobo...Oh now THATS some sensible talk you filthy little pig! You need to shut your filthy mouth. We are quite tired of hearing your obsessions of raype. Thats the only reason youve taken up talking about India in the first place! And maybe one day you might find someone else stupid enough to marry you and then you can tell her to shut up! I however am not your wife nor are you my father so that option is not yours as far as im concerned! And so far the only REAL SENSIBLE comment was made by steve L.

    January 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • Mark S

      steve L. as YOU know it is another Blue Saffron pseudonym.

      January 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  22. chri§§y

    Thank you @ banasy. Its pretty easy to figure out he either A. Wishes to be rayped or B. Wishes to be the one rayping someone else! Either way he is one sick individual.

    January 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  23. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Play nicely amongst yourselves.
    @ chrissy says many logical things.
    Often, I have disagreed with her and challenged her statements.
    Every writer here has the right to share his opinion.

    January 9, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  24. Bo Burnside

    Shut the f ukk up b eetch. My wife? You keep on dreaming on. I wont even let you touch my toilet seat.

    Go marry some indian phagg who will burn you with acid for bringing in meagre dowry.

    January 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      I don't think you're Muslim; most of the Muslim men I know would not ever say anything so crass as "Shut the f ukk up b eetch." online....

      January 9, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  25. chri§§y

    Thank you @ Joey. Its just the same old tired troll with many names! He just gets dumber every day with these posts which is odd considering all the education he has had. I cant imagine what drives a person to APPEAR stupid when they clearly arent.

    January 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  26. chri§§y

    And @ Bo i have no desire to ever marry again to be stuck with someone like you lol. Keep your foul mouth to yourself please.

    January 9, 2015 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  27. chri§§y

    Just as i know you are as well @ mark. It doesnt matter...what he said in THAT post was sensible. And it didnt contain filthy language!

    January 9, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  28. Hannah

    Watch out Bo! She has seen the dough you have. And @Blue Saffron we know she comes on this forum to solicit your attention and pick your pocket too. RUN! Lol

    January 9, 2015 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  29. chri§§y

    Lmao now THAT was the stupidest post thus far @ hannah! How does one pick pockets thru a phone screen? Lol

    January 9, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  30. Bo Burnside

    Thank you @Hannah for the heads up. I won't come close to a self professed cheemale.

    January 9, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Reply
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