Where Artists Fall Afoul of Blasphemy Laws

   < < Go Back
from TIME Magazine,

British actor Stephen Fry was investigated for blasphemy in Ireland after referring to God as “capricious, mean-minded [and] stupid” on television in 2015. The probe was dropped on May 8, but Ireland isn’t the only country where artists have run afoul of laws barring sacrilege.


Actor Veena Malik was sentenced to 26 years in prison for blasphemy in 2014 after she re-created a scene from her Muslim wedding on TV. However, the Kashmiri court ruling was only enforceable in the local region, and Malik never spent time behind bars.


Adel Imam, the country’s most famous comic actor, was handed a three-month jail sentence in 2012 and fined about $170 for playing characters deemed offensive to Islam, including a bumbling terrorist. He was acquitted on appeal the same year.


Austrian cartoonist Gerhard Haderer was given a six-month suspended sentence for blasphemy by an Athens court in 2005 over his depiction of Jesus as a nude, pot-smoking surfer in a satirical picture book. He too was later acquitted on appeal.

More From TIME Magazine: