ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish court on Monday convicted top Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say of denigrating religion through comments he made on Twitter and handed down a 10-month suspended prison sentence, his lawyer said.
Apparently Mr. Say, who has played with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony, and other world class orchestras, made a comment considered disparaging to Islam on his Twitter account. Criticizing a short call to prayer, he mused that the muzzein must have had a waiting mistress or a glass of alcohol to get to. And another, comparing heaven to a tavern or a house of ill repute.
And, the current Turkish government wonders why they're application to the European Union keeps getting delayed.
In other news, the Islamist group Al-Shabaab (a/k/a Mujahideen Youth Movement) - linked to Al Qaeda - murdered 30 people in Mogadishu, Somalia. Must have been for the glory of Allah, which means if they slaughter enough people, destroy the fledgling government of Somlaia, they can institute Sharia law for fun, profit (or international piracy as it's know in the rest of the world), and finally get rid of those pesky prohibitions against doing an honor killing on your sister or mother for showing a bit of ankle in public.
Religion - keeping people enslaved since the first con man met the first fool. (With apologies to Mark Twain).
Free speech is fundamental to a free society. Turkey can either learn that or watch as their application to the European Union continues to get sandbagged.
Proof I'm a dinosaur: I fail to appreciate that Twitter is a means for discourse. News reports, including this one, regularly discuss people who have stirred controversy or gotten into trouble via Twitter. How can anything meaningful or useful be discussed i 140 characters? It's worse than a 30 sec radio or TV ad, and anyone who is popular for any reason can make uneducated thoughtless comments about anything, and thousands will read it.
More proof I'm a dinosaur. I don't use Facebook either.
I agree with Loren, better spoken than I could be.
Then we got TWO dinosaurs here, SB - I don't use either Twitter or Facebook. I HAVE occasionally followed Twitter on an event here and there, but that's the extent of it.
Make that four. I use Twitter occasionally to attempt some activism, or to see what (real-life) friends are sharing, but I have no use for putting my life in an online goldfish bowl.
(I also have a LiveJournal account, which I've never posted to; it's just to read what certain friends write, when I actually remember to go look.)
Number five right here. I've never had a Facebook page (or MySpace, or Google+, etc.) and I don't use Twitter. I don't even have a smartphone. I'm still using my flip-phone purchased in 2007, although I admit to having plans to upgrade to a smartphone very soon.
I don't feel the need to publish the details of my mundane life in an "online goldfish bowl" (thank you to Grinning Cat for the very appropriate metaphor.) I generally find the whole social aspect of Twitter to be rather pompous and arrogant.
"Listen to what I have to say."
"Here's my unasked-for opinion."
"Here's what I'm doing that is so important I needed to tell you."
"I'm important, dammit!"
Back on topic: I'm a bit surprised that Turkey has such blasphemy laws to begin with, being that they seem to be the most "westernized" of the mostly Islamic countries.
It's a quick opportunity to state something poorly. In one case, a twitter does not fully represent what one is trying to say. In the other, one may accurately state a portion of what they are trying to say, yet still be misunderstood due to a lack of information or context. In either case, it's obviously a good way to get into a lot of trouble.
If you're going to say something controversial, you should probably stick with a forum where you can flesh out what you'd like to convey.
No, I don't use twitter. I can't even effectively communicate with my wife. Why would I want to do the same thing with the rest of the world? I think Twitter is used primarily by people who want everyone to think they're incredibly witty. That intention rarely works out for the better, especially when the person is not so much witty as snarky. Those of us who are more plodding in our communications, and I consider myself in that category, should probably refrain from Twittering.
I wonder if a blasphemy charge could ever happen in the US.
So long as the US is at least a de jure secular nation, it better not. If it does, you can watch the smelly stuff hit the rotating blades pretty damned quick.
It can come here but it will be classified as religious 'bullying'
Islam is not a religion of peace/freedom/tolerance, and Turkey is steadily drifting away from Ataturk's secularism back towards fundamentalism. Muslim countries, when toppled of their dictators, revert to the barbaric traditions of the warlord prophet Muhammad. It's as predictable as gravity.
It's a shame that Obama can't see this because Egypt, Libya, Syria, and the whole Arab Spring, are headed the same way. Back to 7th Century Muhammadism. So long as the doctrine of Islam is whitewashed with the "religion of peace" lie, there is no hope for Muslim countries to liberalise.
Michael, I agree with you, but I wouldn't say that Obama is unable to see the clear threat of the above-mentioned countries reverting further back to the 7th Century. Mr. Obama is a smart man, but what is the United States to do? If we intervene, we are accused of meddling and, worse, of waging a religious war: Islam vs. Christianity. If we sit idle and watch, we are accused of being non-complacent or, worse, hypocrites; desiring to advance democracy and human rights, but not willing to assist in the effort.
TFA, Obama has already interfered, he bombed the hell out of Gaddafi, he's sending 20 F-16 jets to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He is a first-class moron. He egged-on the Arab Spring with his fevered rhetoric: "Mubarak must go", "winds of change", "There is something in the soul of men that cries out for freedom", etc.
The great "community organiser" is completely clueless about the doctrine of Islam and the need to organise some sort of Islamic reformation before toppling dictators. He looks to Indonesia and Turkey as models for Muslim countries. But those countries are errant instances of Muslim countries: their relative peace and democracy exists in spite of the doctrine of Islam. They exist against the odds.
Obama's mentality all boils down to the emancipation/liberation of the underclass. He thinks all folks are reasonable and freedom-loving when freed from oppression. But the doctrine of Islam says otherwise.
But in his defence, most politicians are equally insane.
But you are right, we cannot and should not do more meddling in Muslim countries. The only sane policy towards Islam, given that we cannot reform it, it to leave it the hell alone i.e. a containment policy. That's the best we can do. Stop Muslim immigration into the West and contain the problem in their lands.
We should only interfere in the Arab world if we were to do something on an epic scale such as burning every Koran and re-indoctrinating every Arab. But no-one has the stomach for that, so a containment policy is the only thing left to do.