The Question of Blasphemy in Islam

Large sections of the Muslim world still lives in the Middle Ages and an entire neo-medievalist movement, Islamism, has arisen since the 19th century which seeks to bring back the Middle Ages once more. Islamist neo-medievalism has a significant influence on Islam and on Muslims generally, including on the question of blasphemy and even liberal Muslims are still deeply offended by blasphemy against Islam. This is astonishing but not entirely surprising. Christian Europe burned people on the stake for blasphemy until the 18th century. It is after all not such a long time ago when Christian Europeans were “deeply offended” by blasphemy. 

Islam and Islamdom underwent a comprehensive process of modernization in the 20th century but Islamism is now trying to get back to Medieval times. While the rest of the world is no longer offended by blasphemy are Muslims still so. Muslims are of course entitled to be offended although they should really learn to endure blasphemy with patience, irony and humor. The fact that Muslims still get offended by blasphemy while nobody else does indicates that contemporary Islam is still backward and lagging behing other religions and civilizations in development and evolution. This does not mean that Islam cannot and won’t catch up, it should and it certain can.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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