Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.
E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)
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Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.
( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
The Old Comrades:
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Thursday, March 24, 2005
And you thought prosecutions for blasphemy were a thing of the past. Though the pictures are pretty, as a Christian, I probably would not care for the new book by Gerhard Haderer, an Austrian cartoonist. He depicts Christ as a "binge-drinking friend of Jimi Hendrix and naked surfer high on cannabis." What daring iconoclasm! In 1905, maybe. In 2005, apart from six nonagerian nuns living in enclosed orders and a few hobby-protesters, nobody gives a monkeys.
Yesterday if anyone had made the slightest suggestion that the furore that results from writing such a book qualified a man to be regarded as some sort of martyr for free speech, I'd have retorted that the "furore" had probably been budgeted for to the last euro by the publishers. "Regrettably, Herr Haderer, the market for Christian outrage is not what it was, and we cannot agree to your suggested advance." Or I'd have suggested that if he wants to play martyr he could try it with the Muslims, who are more likely to enter into the spirit of the game.
But by the holy bowels of Jimi Hendrix, the poor little poseur really is in danger of arrest. And do you know why? Because of the European arrest warrant, that's why. An Austrian cartoonist and writer faces extradition to Greece (Greece: why does that not surprise me?) for something he wrote in Austria. I assume that Austria has no law, or dead-letter law, against blasphemy. So he wrote something that was legal in Austria but not in Greece, and now he faces extradition to Greece. He did not even know his wretched book had been published in Greece.
I found this via Public Interest. Peter Briffa points out that when this law was introduced much was said by its sponsors about extraditing foreign criminals to Britain... and very little about the extradition of British people to foreign countries for "crimes" that might well not be crimes at all in Britain.
Perhaps some legally knowledgeable reader can tell me if there is anything at all to stop this happening to, for instance, a British Samizdata contributor, if the authorities in some foreign capital should take a dislike to something he or she had written.
I'm going to cross-post this there.