The Pirate Party has just managed to legalise blasphemy in Iceland following condemnation of Charlie Hebdo attack

Introduce the measure in January following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris

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The Independent Online

Iceland voted to legalise blasphemy yesterday after a bill was brought to parliament by the country’s Pirate Party.

Previously under Icelandic law anyone found to be “ridiculing or insulting the dogmas or worship of a lawfully existing religious community,” could be punished with three months in prison or a fine.

However, following the murder of 11 people in Paris after the controversial satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohamad, the Pirate Party introduced a measure to repeal the 1940 law in January.

Speaking in the Althing, Iceland’s parliament, yesterday each member of the small party took the floor – as voting took place – to declare: “I am Charlie Hebdo.”

“The Icelandic Parliament has issued the important message that freedom will not bow to bloody attacks,” the party said in a statement released to The Iceland Monitor after the successful vote.

The measure was broadly supported by most political, religious and public figures – despite the ambivalent relationship much of Iceland’s establishment has with the Pirate Party.

The party, led by Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, is the smallest in the 63-member Althing but has consistently polled above other, larger political organisations.

Their unconventional attitude is best typified by Mr Gunnarsson’s performance in a recent parliamentary session.

He first compared the government’s working to “the final scene of a ‘Game of Thrones’ episode — the only thing you know for sure that there’s probably something perfectly horrible about to happen,” before rapping an Icelandic rock song. The song in question concludes: “I’ve had enough of this mess; let’s take it to the next level.”

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