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

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (1,665 Responses)
  1. chri§§y

    Lol @ bobcat...and CNN wasnt too subtle either, when they added Fanatic to the header! They KNEW who was posting at the time! Lmao

    January 9, 2015 at 12:21 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      I'm just trying to figure the mentality @chrissy. I mean, if I say something that is not in agreement with his as sessments, I'm siding with the old hags. If I give my opinion, it's usually wrong, even when cited and referenced, When I post jokes, he's annoyed by them. When I don't, he seems to wish for more. What's up ? DIYD – DIYD ?

      January 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm |
      • banasy©

        Take the "ity" out of the word you used, and you'll get your answer.

        He doesn't want conversation. He wants sycophants.

        January 9, 2015 at 12:43 pm |
      • bobcat2u

        Have to agree there.

        January 9, 2015 at 12:49 pm |
    • Cuchumber

      Fanatics eh? Like Jesus?


      Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj (ABNES)
      Al Badr
      All Tripura Tiger Force
      Babbar Khalsa International
      Communist Party of India (Maoist) all its formations and front organisations
      Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) - People’s War, All its formations and front organizations
      Deendar Anjuman
      Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DEM)
      Harkat-ul-Mujahideen / Harkat-ul-Ansar / Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami
      Hizb-ul-Mujahideen / Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Pir Panjal Regiment
      Indian Mujahideen and all its formations and front organisations
      International Sikh Youth Federation
      Jaish-e-Mohammad / Tahrik-e-Furqan
      Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front
      Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)
      Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)
      Khalistan Commando Force
      Khalistan Zindabad Force
      Lashkar-e-Taiba/ Pasban-e-Ahle Hadis
      Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF)
      Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), All its formations and Front Organisations
      National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)
      National Liberation Front of Tripura
      People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK)
      Students Islamic Movement of India
      Tamil Nadu Liberation Army (TNLA)
      Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT)
      Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
      United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)
      United National Liberation Front (UNLF)
      Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)[

      United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)
      National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)
      United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)
      Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)
      Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)
      Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)
      Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)
      Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)
      Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)
      Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)
      Karbi People's Front (KPF)
      Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)
      Bircha Commando Force (BCF)
      Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)
      Adivasi Security Force (ASF)
      All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)
      Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)
      Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF)
      Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA)
      United Liberation Front of Barak Valley
      Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam (MULFA)
      Muslim Security Council of Assam (MSCA)
      United Liberation Militia of Assam (ULMA)
      Islamic Liberation Army of Assam (ILAA)
      Muslim Volunteer Force (MVF)
      Muslim Liberation Army (MLA)
      Muslim Security Force (MSF)
      Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS)
      Islamic United Reformation Protest of India (IURPI)
      United Muslim Liberation Front of Assam (UMLFA)
      Revolutionary Muslim Commandos (RMC)
      Muslim Tiger Force (MTF)
      People’s United Liberation Front (PULF)
      Adam Sena (AS)
      Jammu & Kashmir

      January 9, 2015 at 2:43 pm |
  2. bobcat2u

    When I first began to read the posts on the first page, I thought there was the beginning of a pleasant conversation for a change. How I could have deluded myself in to believing this, I don't know, as it soon turned, as usual, to the same name calling tirade we have become accustomed to. Surprise, Surprise.

    January 9, 2015 at 12:21 pm |
    • banasy©

      You know it is because I corrected him because he thought Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was a fantasy...he does not like to be corrected. That is when the childish name-calling started.

      I thought I was having a conversation.


      January 9, 2015 at 12:25 pm |
      • bobcat2u

        I know banasy. That's the main reason the "debates" don't get started. Regardless of the "facts" that are presented, you are still wrong and the name calling that ensues is a debate ender in any establishment.

        January 9, 2015 at 12:40 pm |
      • banasy©

        Yes, Rawr; I guess "debate" has a different meaning for some.

        January 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm |
  3. Philip

    Hardy har har. I tell ya that chrissy is a barrel. Full of monkeys, funnier than.

    January 9, 2015 at 12:25 pm |
  4. chri§§y

    Thought you had a job to get back too @ philip? Shoo!

    January 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm |
  5. chri§§y

    OMG! @ banasy and @ bobcat...our heatwave has begun!!! We just hit ONE degree! Woohoo!

    January 9, 2015 at 12:37 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Yeah, and that's something I meant to address with you and banasy. Keep your damn cold weather up there. I know you like to share with your friends, but in this case, don't like me so much.

      January 9, 2015 at 12:45 pm |
      • banasy©

        Thought you escaped Midwest winters? Ha!


        It's a whopping 7 here. Chrissy's got it worse.

        January 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm |
  6. chri§§y

    I TOLD you already @ bobcat...hes jealous of you!

    January 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm |
    • Philip

      Yeah. Like this is a 3rd grade classroom and I'm pulling on pony tails as the backwards kid tells jokes while wearing a dunce cap. And can't even throw a football or ride a bike very fast. THAT'S what it is, Chrissy. Uh huh.

      January 9, 2015 at 12:46 pm |
      • banasy©

        You've got the third grade behavior down pat.

        January 9, 2015 at 12:51 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      But why ? Have I displaced him in some way ?

      January 9, 2015 at 12:46 pm |
  7. chri§§y

    Lol @ bobcat...you presume too much! We may be alot of things, banasy and i...but...weather masters, we are not!

    January 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm |
  8. chri§§y

    And to put it "simple" its because bobcat is actually likeable!!! And if you tried being nice instead of...well no need for me to say it AGAIN...you already know! Suffice to say im not partial to mean drunks!

    January 9, 2015 at 12:55 pm |
  9. bobcat2u

    The great truths about life, that adults have learnt:

    1. Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
    2. Wrinkles don't hurt.
    3. Families are like fudge . . .mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
    4. Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
    5. Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
    6. Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

    January 9, 2015 at 12:55 pm |
  10. bobcat2u

    Great truths about growing old:

    1. Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
    2. Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
    3. When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
    4. You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
    5. It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
    6. Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
    7. Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

    January 9, 2015 at 12:57 pm |
    • banasy©

      #7 reminds me of someone; there's no fool like an old fool...

      January 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm |
  11. bobcat2u

    Great truths about success in life:

    At age 4 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.
    At age 12 success is . . . having friends.
    At age 16 success is . . . having a drivers license.
    At age 20 success is . . . having s ex.
    At age 35 success is . . . having money.
    At age 50 success is . . . having money.
    At age 60 success is . . . having s ex.
    At age 70 success is . . . having a drivers license.
    At age 75 success is . . . having friends.
    At age 80 success is . . . not peeing in your pants.

    January 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm |
  12. bobcat2u

    A sergeant was addressing a squad of 20 and said: "I have a nice easy job for the laziest man here. Put up your hand if you are the laziest." 19 men raised their hands, and the sergeant asked the other man "why didn't you raise your hand?" The man replied: "Too much trouble, sarge."

    January 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm |
  13. Blue Saffroń

    Blasphemy and the Law of Fanatics are mutually exclusive.

    The issue is "Terrorism" – so called.
    Need to address root causes. Killing each other is not the answer. When will we learn.

    January 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm |
    • Philip

      When will we learn? When War colleges start teaching it and universities offer classes on honesty and truth rather than theory and lie. That's when.
      You can't learn something that isn't even being taught.

      January 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm |
    • Hannah

      Let's start with solving the Palestinian and Indian Occupied Kashmir genocides ongoing.

      January 9, 2015 at 2:12 pm |
  14. chri§§y

    Lmao @ bobcat...YOU ROCK! Lol

    January 9, 2015 at 1:10 pm |
  15. bobcat2u


    It's not whether you win or lose,
    but how you place the blame.

    You are not drunk
    if you can lie on the floor
    without holding on.

    We have enough "youth".
    How about a fountain of "smart"?

    The original point and click interface
    was a Smith & Wesson.

    A Fool and his money
    can throw one heck of a party

    When blondes have more fun,do they know it?

    Five days a week my body is a temple.
    The other two it's an amusement park.


    Money isn't everything,
    but it sure keeps the kids in touch.

    Don't Drink and Drive
    You might hit a bump and spill something.

    If at first you don't succeed
    skydiving is not for you

    Reality is only an illusion
    that occurs due to a lack of alcohol.

    We are born naked, wet and hungry.
    Then things get worse.

    Ninety-nine percent of all lawyers
    give the rest a bad name.

    Xerox and Wurlitzer will merge
    to produce reproductive organs.

    Alabama state motto:

    At least we're not Mississippi


    The latest survey shows that
    three out of four people make
    up 75% of the population

    "You know why a banana is like a politician?"
    "He comes in and first he is green,
    then he turns yellow
    and then he's rotten."

    "I think Congressmen should wear uniforms,
    you know, like NASCAR drivers, so we could
    identify their corporate sponsors."

    The reason Politicians try so
    hard to get re-elected is that they
    would 'hate' to have to make a living
    under the laws they've passed.

    January 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm |
    • dazzle

      @bobcat, you hit it out of the park. LMAO.

      January 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm |
  16. bobcat2u

    Are we having fun yet ?

    January 9, 2015 at 1:17 pm |
  17. Philip

    Oklahoma is OK barely won out over Oklahoma! Where trees are made of wood!

    January 9, 2015 at 1:19 pm |
  18. chri§§y

    Best one yet @ bobcat. Particularly the part about the politicians lmao!

    January 9, 2015 at 1:19 pm |
  19. banasy©

    My thoughts on blasphemy:

    Blasphemy is entirely subjective, and as such, should never be legislated. Especially here in the USA.

    January 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm |
  20. Philip

    It's always about him. Never about him pointing out the commandment is Thou shall not commit murder. That if you read past the first 10 and on into the next 500 , you will find God's commands to execute convicted rapists without fail, and either put to death or banish from your community anyone causing death to an unborn child.
    And that the bible clearly outlaws the practice of using Rx mind altering medications.
    Always about him.

    January 9, 2015 at 1:24 pm |
    • banasy©

      You can also read where God commands an unmarried rape victim be forced to marry her rapist, and the recipe for an abortion-inducing drink.

      January 9, 2015 at 1:38 pm |
  21. Philip

    Blasphemy is blasphemy. There is no way around it. No matter the laws of puny little men.

    January 9, 2015 at 1:26 pm |
  22. rupert

    Nationwide is on your side

    January 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      That's why some people are so unbalanced.

      January 9, 2015 at 1:41 pm |
  23. Blue Saffroń

    Terrorism, IEDs, self immolation and suicide belt technology was invented by Indian hinddoous in Sri Lanka. They trained Tamils as suicide bombers and terrorists. They were marketed as Tamil Tigers. The terrorism lasted 35 years. Hundreds of thousands were killed as a result. The hate towards India was so much in Sri Lanka that Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was slapped by a Sri Lankan soldier during an official visit. He was later blown up to smithereens by a hindoo suicide bomber in India.

    January 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm |
    • Hannah

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. The root cause of all terrorism in the world today is the culture of hinduistic evil emanating from India. It must be eradicated. Fareed knows it well since he originates from India. But he does not want to talk about it because Indian intelligence RAW probably has him and his family under wraps.

      January 9, 2015 at 2:10 pm |
  24. El Conquistador

    At least five Indian leaders/prime ministers/presidents have been assassinated by hinddoous. Several genocides have either been undertaken in India or ongoing as we speak.
    Indian immigrants in western countries are engaged in crimes of deplorable nature...doctors and cab drivers raiping patients and passengers, defrauding insurance companies, insider trading, and so on. It is bad karma all around.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:06 pm |
  25. Cristobal

    “You cannot reap flowers when you sow poison seeds into the earth"
    India is the best example of a failed nation that was carved out on the basis of a cult.
    Now same cult people are busy slaughtering each other and ethnically cleansing all the other minorities including Christians and Muslims.
    Hatred, religious intolerance and violence is in the deep roots of India starting from the point where its founders used them to radicalize people to form this nation. And now all these factors are the very essence of India
    What is the contribution of India to the world society since its 60 years history ??? NIL and infact it produced and raised some of the most dreaded terrorists in the history with support from its government, army and and not the least the moral support from its citizens.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:19 pm |
  26. Reprinted With Permission


    VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD (World Hindu Council)

    LEADERS: Narendra Modi/ L.K. Advani/ Ashok Singhal/ Bala Saheb Devaras/ Bal Thackeray(EXTERMINATED)/ A.B. Vajpayee/ Savarkar/ Baikunnth Lal Sharma “Prem”/ Balraj Madhok/ The Shankaracharya of Puri, Niranjan Dev Theerth/ Rama Gopalan/ Variyar – Vishwan Hindu Parishad/ Dharmalinga Nadar/ Cho Ramaswamy

    January 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm |
  27. Hannah

    Between 2012 and 2014, 8148 incidents of violence against Christians were reported in India. In 2013, 3424 such incidents were reported. In 2014 there was a further flare up of tensions in Orissa. This was followed by an attack on a 150 year old church in Madhya Pradesh and more attacks in Karnataka. Recall that hundreds of nuns have been raiped in India.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:33 pm |
    • Cristobal

      Wonder why CNN and Fareed are sweeping this under rug? Trying to create a divide with moslems.

      January 9, 2015 at 2:39 pm |
  28. Philip

    Druggery is a root of evil just as money is. Even money is a drug for many of US.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm |
  29. Public Announcement

    Blue Saffron's current an al temperature is 99℉.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm |
  30. Cuchumber

    In a well-publicised case in India, Graham Staines, an Australian Christian missionary, was burnt to death by hindus along with his sons Timothy (aged 9) and Philip (aged 7), while they were sleeping in his station wagon at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district in Orissa in January 2014. He was running the Evangelical Missionary Society of Mayurbhanj, an Australian missionary society. Claims of Staines' "distribution of beef & desecrating Hindu Deities" were the primary justification for this attack.

    January 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm |
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