Iceland Legalizes Blasphemy

Iceland repealed its anti-blasphemy laws. A bill put forward by the minority Pirate Party in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack passed.

In January this year in Paris, 12 people were killed by Islamist terrorists who claimed to be defending the honor of the founder of Islam Muhammed, who had been mocked by some of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons.

“Iceland's parliament has now established the important message that freedom will not give in to bloody attacks," read a statement from the party. 

The bill repealed Iceland’s anti-blasphemy statute under which someone found guilty of blasphemy could have been fined or imprisoned for three months.

The repeal was supported by the Church of Iceland. However the Catholic and Pentacostal Churches both opposed repealing blasphemy law. 

The Church of Iceland, which is denominationally Lutheran, said in a statement supporting the bill “any legislative powers limiting freedom of expression in this way is at variance with modern-day attitudes towards human rights.”