Here’s an ongoing story I’ve missed; from Adam Turner of “The Legal Project”, at the Blaze:
Just this December, we saw another person targeted by European nations for his critical speech about Islam.
The target this time is a man named Imran Firasat, who is a former Muslim from Pakistan who is now a convert to Christianity and resides in Spain. Mr. Firasat is a well-known critic of his former religion, and runs a website World without Islam (Mundo sin Islam). He, in coordination with American Pastor Terry Jones… has produced a new movie about the Muslim prophet Muhammad, an hour long cartoon film called “The Innocent Prophet: The Life of Mohammed from a Different Point of View.”
…[Spain] initiated two forms of lawfare against him: 1) attacking him on his Spanish residency grounds; and 2) threatening him with prosecution for violating Spanish hate speech codes… The Spanish government is justifying their action to revoke his asylum status on the grounds that he is “threatening national security with the production of this video.”
The case has been covered in English mainly by polemical US anti-Islam sites, which assert that Firasat’s legal troubles demonstrate the malign influence of Islam over Europe. Of course, this ignores one important piece of context, which is that European countries tend to balance free speech against other considerations, rather than regard it as the highest good in itself. The specific legislation which is being used against Firasat – Section 510 of the Spanish Legal Code – has been applied in other contexts, and its existence is supported by groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (and no, noting this doesn’t therefore mean I agree with it). However, the reference to “threatening national security” does indicate that Spain may be applying the law for reasons of convenience, rather than principle; the video’s title is obviously meant to evoke The Innocence of Muslims.
As one might expect given the association with Terry Jones, Firasat’s site is crudely abusive; and his new Christian religiosity appears to consist solely of attacks on Islam (shades of Reza Khalili). He’s also not particularly keen on free speech himself: in August he petitioned the Spanish government to ban the Koran, and when this was criticised by MPACUK he wrote to “the British authorities to declare this group a terrorist organization and ban it immediately as its acts should be considered serious crimes under the European and UK’s anti terrorism law.”
The IB Times published an interview with Firasat in December; Firasat asserts that his status as a former insider means he has special understanding which is not available to Islamic scholars. Firasat has not posted the legal documents threatening deportation online, although the IB Times says that the ”ministry’s letter has been seen by IBTimes UK.”
(var: Imran Farasat)
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