Queensland University Suspends Lawyer for YouTube-Distributed Blasphemy

The Brisbane Times reports that:

A Queensland University of Technology lawyer[,] … Alex Stewart[,] has taken leave from his non-academic position as a QUT [Queensland University of Technology] commercial contracts lawyer after controversy erupted over a YouTube clip in which he smokes self-made cigarettes rolled in pages from the [Koran and the Bible] before rating which “burns better”….

The Daily Telegraph (UK) reports,

[Stewart] on leave following a meeting on Monday and is facing an inquiry.

“The university is obviously extremely, extremely unhappy and disappointed that this sort of incident should occur,” vice-chancellor Peter Coaldrake said.

Stewart’s point was apparently to argue (among other things) that people shouldn’t venerate books to the point of getting upset about others’ supposed mistreatment of the books. “Is this profanity? Is it blasphemy? Does it really matter? I guess that’s the point with all this, this crip — it’s just a [bleeped out] book. Who cares? Who cares?” I quote here a video accompanying the Brisbane Times article, which includes a short excerpt from Stewart’s YouTube clip. But I do not know where one can find the full clip; if you can point me to it, or send me a file containing it, I’d be much obliged.

Note that the Brisbane Times video also quotes a police spokesman who is saying that Stewart’s actions were likely not a criminal offense. Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.

UPDATE: Just to repeat what the title says, Stewart is a lawyer working for the university, not a professor.

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