16 Jan 2015

Dershowitz predicts blasphemy hostilities will reduce

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, an expert in civil liberties and blasphemy laws, has predicted that a widespread hostility to depiction of the prophet among Muslims will reduce despite the concerns expressed over French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Parisians marched for freedom of expression Frederic Legrand - COMEO

In an interview with Global Legal Post, Professor Dershowitz said: 'Religion needs blasphemy in order to change. Blasphemy is what Jesus did, what Martin Luther did. I suspect Islam will change.' He believes that the particular issue under focus through the Charlie Hebdo satiricla magazine, eight of whose journalists were killed last week - the depiction of Mohammad - will stop being unacceptable among non-Muslims. 'The biggest problem at the moment is that Islam is telling people who are outside of its religion what to do.' 


In an autobiographical work, 'Taking the Stand', the professor - who has defended a string of famous clients including Claus von Bulow and Patty Hearst - described how he developed his thinking on issues including freedom of speech and censorship. Asked by Global Legal Post if he saw practical reasons to detect a change of view over the portrayal of the prophet, he said: 'We are seeing more and more moderate Muslims saying that this [setting the rules for non-Muslims] is outrageous.’