While there is no explicit reference to ‘blasphemy’, under the heading of “Obstacles to the free exercise of worship”, the Penal Code of the Comoros contains a provision which prevents the promotion of non-Islmaic religious beliefs to Muslims, and another which outlaws “outraging” ministers of religion.

“Article 229-8. Whoever divulges, propagates, or teaches Muslims a religion other than the Muslim religion, shall be punished by imprisonment for three months and a fine of 50,000 to 500,000 francs.

The same penalties apply for the sale, offering for sale, even free distribution to Muslims, of books, pamphlets, magazines, records and cassettes disclosing a religion other than Islam.”

Though phrased only in terms of alternative specifically religious beliefs, it is probable that promotion of non-religious views or criticism of Islam could be defined as anti-Islamic proselytizing and therefore fall under this same provision.

The same section lays out punishments for desecrating or interrupting religious places or objects.

Article 231 of the penal code criminalizes “outraging” (or perhaps best translated as “insulting”) a minister of religion “in the performance of his duties” punishable with a fine or imprisonment from six months up to two years, or from two years up to five years if that minister is “outraged” during while conducting “worship”. The vague terms suggest that this law could be used as a quasi-blasphemy law a cleric was confronted with criticism during the course of his work.

The constitution nominally protects freedom of thought, religion or belief, but in practice other laws and practices severely restrict this right. Article 1 of the constitution as revised in 2009 declares Islam the state religion and commits the Comorian people “to draw from Islam, the religion of the state, the permanent inspiration of the principles and rules that govern the Union”.