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Who's Insulting Islam: Fazil Say or His Punishers?

The conviction of composer Fazil Say for blasphemy based upon a series of tweets has elicited outrage among pro-democracy advocates, writes Orhan Kemal Cengiz.
Supporters of Turkish classical pianist Fazil Say demonstrate in front of the court house in Istanbul October 18, 2012. Internationally acclaimed Turkish classical pianist Fazil Say goes on trial on charges of insulting Muslim religious values in comments posted on Twitter.  REUTERS/Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY

On Monday, April 15, I sent out a tweet: “In 21st century’s Turkey, someone received a prison sentence for citing a poem written in the 11th century.”

I was but one of those tens of thousands who were protesting the prison sentence given to internationally renowned pianist and composer Fazil Say. Say has received a postponed 10-month prison sentence for blasphemy for allegedly “denigrating religious values,” which is a punishable crime under Article 216/3 of the Turkish penal code.

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