Forty-six MPs, including cabinet ministers, voted for the key amendments that will come into effect only after another round of voting and government approval. The second and final vote will take place in two weeks.
Four Shiite MPs voted against the law, a pro-Shiite Sunni lawmaker abstained, while two MPs refused to vote.
Shiite MPs have demanded that the new amendments also enforce the death penalty for anyone who curses their sect’s 12 revered Imams, but the Sunni- dominated parliament rejected their requests.
Apparently, they want to take major steps backwards by joining their Saudi and Pakistani brothers in instituting the death penalty. The move was prompted by the arrest of a Shiite man, Hamad al-Naqi, who allegedly cursed Mohammad (and others) on his twitter account, although he denies it. Al-Naqi has yet to go to trial, but I'm sure those MPs would be pretty darn happy to get this law in place before he gets his day in court.