An Ill Omen

Last month I reported that Oriana Fallaci was being prosecuted in Italy for defaming religion after she made unpleasant remarks about Islam.

In a bizarre update it appears that the person who sued Fallaci is himself in trouble with the law for insulting the Italian state religion:

Adel Smith, President of the Union of Italian Muslims, was sentenced by the Padua court to 6 months in prison, converted to a fine (over 6,000 euro), for the crime of defaming religion. On January 4, 2003, Adel Smith, during a TV program broadcast live on the Paduan channel ‘Serenissima Tv’ made accusations against the Catholic church defining it as “criminal association” and against Pope John Paul II, defined as “a foreign man who heads the church”

Why can’t I get rid of the image of children throwing lighted matches at each other?

Via Melanie Phillips who adds:

This is precisely what happens when a country introduces laws banning debate about religion — every religious believer becomes a potential criminal, faith group is set against faith group, group hatred does not diminish but grows, and freedom of expression goes down the tubes.