Spain To Deport Pakistani Refugee For Criticizing Islam

Imran Firasat

The Spanish Supreme Court ruled that Pakistani refugee Imran Firasat be stripped of his refugee status and deported to his own country because his criticism of Islam poses a danger to the security of Spain. The ruling was passed on May 30th and it upholds the previous decision by a lower court that wanted to revoke Firasat’s special status for the same reason.

Firasat acquired political asylum in Spain in October 2006 after receiving death threats from both Pakistan and Indonesia for denouncing Islam and marrying a woman of another faith. He runs a website called MundoSinIslam that translates to A World Without Islam.

However, Spanish authorities decided to deport Firasat in December 2012 after the release of his one-hour movie titled The Innocent Prophet: The Life of Mohammed from a Different Point of View on YouTube. The film talks about the dangers of Islam in western civilization, quoting passages from the Koran that threaten non-Muslims with violence and showing images of Muslim terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, double-decker buses in London and commuter trains in Madrid.

Firasat said he was inspired by the amateur film The Innocence of Muslims that released in 2012. This particular film, which had highly controversial content and portrayed Prophet Mohammed as a pedophile and a womanizer, triggered riots across Europe and the Middle East, leading to the death of more than 30 people. After the riots, the Obama Administration alleged that the American ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other officials in Libya and Benghazi died because of the film’s release.

“When I heard that the U.S. ambassador was slain, I said okay, you Muslims, use violence, but we will continue to make films. One day one of us will lose,” said Firasat.

Soon after the release of Firasat’s film, Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz and Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo initiated a process to review his refugee status.

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A document released by the Spanish Foreign Ministry stated, “The consequences of the release of a video with such [anti-Islamic] characteristics are highly worrisome and constitute a real risk for Spanish interests because the author of the video identifies himself as a Spanish citizen. Firasat's actions, including his threats to burn the Koran, are destabilizing and heighten the risk of attacks against Spanish interests abroad, especially in the current context of the extreme sensitivity and indignation in the Muslim world.”

In December 2012, Fernandez issued an order to have Firasat deported citing Article 44 of the Law on Asylum and Protection that allows the state to revoke the refugee status if a person constitutes a threat to Spain’s security. However, Firasat appealed the order at the National Court, saying his views about Islam fall within the constitutional right to free speech. His appeal was rejected in October 2013 after which he approached the Supreme Court with his appeal.

The Supreme Court recently confirmed the National Court’s ruling saying, “The right to the freedom of expression does not guarantee the right to intolerant manifestations or expressions that infringe against religious freedom, that have the character of blasphemy or that seek to offend religious convictions and do not contribute to the public debate.”

Oddly, this passage is much like the international blasphemy law that is currently being promoted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a coalition of 57 Muslim countries that want to ban the “negative stereotyping of Islam” across the world.

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling against Firasat, neither he nor his family have not been deported yet because the court believes his life is threatened in Pakistan. Firasat is likely to make an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights next.

 

Opinions

Nirav Mehta

Process this - Spain is stripping the citizenship of someone who until that decision was fully a Spanish citizen and will send him to Pakistan, where his life will not be worth a dime. This is not a mere betrayal of free speech, of citizenship, of protecting refugees of conscience and humanity. This is what Vichy France did to French Jews, and this is EXACTLY what the Nazis and the Islamist murderers would want from the states they want to control in perpetual fear of attack. Spain has not only capitulated, but is actually COLLABORATING with Islamic terrorists!

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