Posts Tagged ‘ Blasphemy ’

“Is this the right way to handle blasphemy?”

Mar 18th, 2017 12:42 pm | By

The BBC reports on the response to its own horrible question:

The BBC has apologised after a tweet from the Asian Network account asked, “What is the right punishment for blasphemy?”.

The tweet provoked criticism that the BBC appeared to be endorsing harsh restrictions on speech.

Well no. The BBC appeared to be endorsing the whole idea that dissent from religion should be impermissible and illegal and should be harshly punished. That’s what the BBC appeared to be doing.

In an apology posted on Twitter, the network said it intended to debate concerns about blasphemy on social media in Pakistan.

“We never intended to imply that blasphemy should be punished,” it said.

The post on Twitter was intended to publicise

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For women who dare to think for themselves?

Mar 18th, 2017 12:25 pm | By

There were some responses to BBC Asian Network’s “What is the right punishment for blasphemy?” question.

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“What is the right punishment for blasphemy?”

Mar 18th, 2017 11:40 am | By

The Times of India reports:

H Farook, 31, from Bilal Estate in South Ukkadam here, was hacked to death by a four-member gang, late Thursday night. He was a member of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam (DVK), and an atheist. According to police, Farook was administering a WhatsApp group where he posted rationalistic views against his religion. He also posted rationalistic messages on his Facebook page which came in for criticism by members of the community.

Meanwhile, Ansath, 30, a Muslim realtor, surrendered before the judicial magistrate court -V on Friday evening in connection with the murder.

“Farook’s anti-Muslim sentiments had angered people. This may be a possible motive for murder,” said S Saravanan, DCP, Coimbatore.

Yesterday BBC Asian Network tweeted Read the rest

Blasphemy in Viborg

Feb 23rd, 2017 1:03 pm | By

Denmark has decided it believes in something called “blasphemy,” and that people should be prosecuted and punished for it.

Denmark is reactivating its ‘blasphemy’ law, for the first time in 46 years, charging a man for posting a video of himself burning a copy of the Quran.

The accused (aged 42) posted the video clip entitled “Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns” to a Facebook group called “YES TO FREEDOM – NO TO ISLAM” (“JA TIL FRIHED – NEJ TIL ISLAM“) in December 2015.

A spokesperson from the public prosecutor’s office in Viborg said: “It is the prosecution’s view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran can

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Not to be mocked

Nov 2nd, 2016 1:05 pm | By

Stephen Evans at the National Secular Society on the punishment of Louis Smith.

The very public castigation of the British gymnast is illustrative of the troubling return of blasphemy. As the former Strictly Come Dancing winner has discovered – and to his immense cost – Britain’s bourgeoning ‘culture of offence’ is ensuring that any action deemed likely to offend religious sensibilities, but particularly Muslim sensibilities, is strictly taboo.

The ‘offending’ footage, published by The Sun, shows him with fellow gymnast Luke Carson drunkenly goofing around yelling “Allahu Akbar” and mocking aspects of Islamic belief.

Condemnation came swiftly from Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadan Foundation, who asserted “our faith is not to be mocked” and called

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Wrong again, God boy

Dec 1st, 2015 2:54 pm | By

Just in time for Christmas secular winter solstice shopping, the 7th collection of Jesus and Mo cartoons is published.

And guess what! I got to write the foreword for it!

Here it is:

We’re living in a time of flourishing, intensifying fanaticism, specifically religious fanaticism.

In a way that seems strange. You would think religious fanaticism would be on a steady downward trajectory as technology and communication proceed in an upward one. How can murderous devotion to an antique Holy Book co-exist with the Mars Rover and the iPad?

Jesus and Mo implicitly and slyly puts that question whenever we see the boys watching television or at a laptop or reading a wide assortment of newspapers. The core running … Read the rest

Blasphemy around the world

Sep 30th, 2015 10:58 am | By

The Washington Post notes that it’s International Blasphemy Day via Brandon G. Withrow at Religion News Service.

“God is a lie.”

In some countries, uttering, scribbling or texting that statement will get you thrown in jail, beaten with a rod or possibly killed. The “crime” is blasphemy and Wednesday (Sept. 30) is “International Blasphemy Rights Day,” set aside by human rights activists to highlight the blasphemy laws on the books in 22 percent of the world’s nations, according to the Pew Research Center.

Withrow mentions China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It could also have mentioned India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sudan…

“Freedom of conscience is a fundamental right, and it must be valued, protected and advanced everywhere in the world,” says Michael

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Pursue the blasphemers

Feb 9th, 2015 12:15 pm | By

Ireland has ambitions to become another Pakistan, the Guardian reports.

The sale of the Charlie Hebdo magazine published after the Paris atrocity is threatening to become the first major test of the Irish Republic’s blasphemy law, Muslim representatives and secularists have warned.

Ireland’s Islamic Cultural Centre has said the presence of a depiction of the prophet Muhammad on the front page of the satirical publication, on sale now in Irish shops, is a clear breach of the country’s blasphemy legislation.

The Irish Republic is the only nation in Europe to have introduced a blasphemy law in the 21st century.

What a distinction, eh?

Ahmed Hasain, the executive secretary of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin, said: “In our view,

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Atheist Ireland at the Constitutional Convention

Nov 4th, 2013 12:07 pm | By

Michael Nugent provides video and transcripts of three speeches Saturday at the Constitutional Convention meeting about blasphemy law.

A bit from Michael’s:

You have rights, your beliefs do not. That is the essence of freedom of conscience.

You can respect my right to believe that there is no God, while not respecting the content of my belief. And I can respect your right to believe that there is a God, without respecting the content of your belief.

But blasphemy laws discriminate against atheists. They treat religious beliefs and sensitivities as more worthy of legal protection than atheist beliefs and sensitivities.

For example, we were recently at a conference in Limerick about religious pluralism in Irish schools, at which two Catholic

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Loosen the screws, the better to tighten them

Nov 4th, 2013 11:49 am | By

Hmm, it’s good to get rid of a blasphemy law, but it’s not good to replace it with “a new general provision to include incitement to religious hatred” – meaning, apparently, to include something that forbids so-called incitement to religious hatred. Unfortunately that’s just what Ireland’s constitutional convention has recommended, according to the Irish Times.

The constitutional offence of blasphemy should be replaced with a new general provision to include incitement to religious hatred, the constitutional convention has recommended.

Voting today on whether the reference to the offence of blasphemy should be kept as it is in the Constitution, 38 per cent said Yes, 61 per cent said No and 1 per cent were undecided or had no opinion.


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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

I can apostasize if I want to, and so can you

Mar 14th, 2013 6:11 pm | By

Sign up to Maryam’s call for action to defend apostates and blasphemers, if you haven’t already.

More than two hundred individuals and organisations have already signed up to the call for action to defend apostates and blasphemers. Individuals include Iranian Campaigner Mina Ahadi, Lebanese writer and actress Darina al Joundi, Algerian author Djemila Benhabib, Scientist Richard Dawkins, Moroccan atheist Imad Iddine Habib, Algerian Secularist Marieme Helie Lucas, Iraqi Kurd women’s rights activist Houzan Mahmoud, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, Iranian/German author Siba Shakib and writer Ibn Warraq amongst others. Supporting organisations include Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Foundation of Australia, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Polish Rationalist Society, and The

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

It’s blasphemy to blaspheme against blasphemy laws

Jan 18th, 2013 11:11 am | By

Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, has been accused of “blasphemy” for criticizing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in a tv interview two years ago. There are a lot of people who take criticism to be blasphemy, aren’t there…

Rehman has been a critic of the controversial laws, which have been widely condemned by rights organization and deemed discriminatory. In November, 2010, Rehman submitted a bill to parliament seeking to reform the blasphemy laws and an end to capital punishment. Rehman has since faced death threats from Islamist militants.

Right. Gotta kill people who think “blasphemy” laws might need reform (notice she didn’t even say they should be eliminated) and that the state shouldn’t execute people. Anti-death people should be made … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Insulting prophets

Dec 13th, 2012 11:32 am | By

Alber Saber has been sentenced to three years in prison for “blasphemy.”

Alber Saber was arrested in September after neighbours accused him of posting links to a film mocking Islam that led to protests across the Muslim world.

Neighbors accused him of posting links to something, and for that he gets three years in prison.

Egypt? You’re doing it wrong.

Mr Saber was initially accused of circulating links to a 14-minute trailer for the film, Innocence of Muslims, which denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.

But he denied promoting the video and later faced charges relating to other statements critical of Islam and Christianity which police investigators allegedly found online and on his computer at his home.

Oh right, the first charge … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Apples but not bananas? What about pineapples?

Oct 15th, 2012 2:38 pm | By

Hahahaha this is great – did you know the Apple logo is blasphemous?

Yes well once you’re told of course you can see it. Apple; bite missing. But would you have thought of it if you hadn’t been told? Aha!!1! I thought not. You’re probably blasphemous yourself.

In this case it’s a sect of ultra-Orthodox believers in Russia that are claiming that the Apple logo is indeed blasphemous:

Radical orthodox Christians from Russia remove Apple logotype from the company’s products and put a cross sign instead of them. The orthodox find the half-bitten apple logotype anti-Christian and insulting their belief, something that may potentially cause serious problems for Apple’s products in the country.

Interfax news-agency reports about “several” cases,

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Protect all the sentiments

Oct 1st, 2012 10:30 am | By

What goes around comes around department.

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws may be used to punish Muslims suspected of ransacking a Hindu temple, an intriguing twist for a country where harsh laws governing religious insults are primarily used against supposed offenses to Islam, not minority faiths.

And where the whole point of the country itself has always been that it’s not Hindu. That was the point of partition. India was secular but also majority-Hindu, so Pakistan was to be the opposite. How sad to see its laws used to protect Hindu “religious sentiments.”

Police officer Mohammad Hanif said Sunday the anti-Hindu attack took place Sept. 21. The government had declared that day a national holiday — a “Day of Love for

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Couldn’t the UN just put a stop to it?

Sep 30th, 2012 5:45 pm | By

Katha Pollitt on blasphemy. She starts with a public radio chat in which John Hockenberry said to BBC chief Jeremy Bowen:

Hockenberry: I’m wondering if it’s possible for the United Nations to create an initiative that would talk about some sort of global convention on blasphemy, that would create a cooperative enterprise to control these kinds of incidents, not to interfere into anybody’s free speech rights but to basically recognize that there is a global interest in keeping people from going off the rails over a perceived sense of slight by enforcing a convention of human rights, only in this particular case it would be anti-blasphemy?

So he wants a global convention to enforce an anti-blasphemy convention of human … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Golden Dawn v Elder Pastitsios

Sep 28th, 2012 12:13 pm | By

More on “Elder Pastitsios” and blasphemy laws in Greece. The links are to sites in Greek.

Four days before the arrest on September 17, MP Christos Pappas from the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party had brought the page to the attention of the justice minister and submitted an official inquiry into why the Facebook page was not being addressed by the Eletronic Crimes Unit. According to site NewsIt*, the police claim they had already concluded their investigation two days before the question was raised in parliament. Following the publication of the arrest, Greece’s leftist primary opposition party SYRIZA strongly denounced* the arrest as did its offshoot and now ruling coalition junior partner Democratic Left as well as the

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

She wept and begged to be released

Aug 27th, 2012 10:34 am | By

Spare a thought for that little girl in Pakistan who is in jail for “blasphemy” because she (supposedly, allegedly, some asshole saidly) had some pages of the Koran in a bag of trash, or put some pages of the Koran in a fire along with other trash, or some such stupid meaningless unreasonable bit of nonsense. Spare a thought for her, because she wants to get out. She would probably prefer to be at home, with people who love her and take care of her.

According to the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad, Rimsha’s lawyer said that when he saw her in jail over the weekend she wept and begged to be released.

Her parents have been taken into

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

As communal tensions continued to rise

Aug 21st, 2012 11:48 am | By

Can’t we all get along? No. Not in Islamabad, for instance, after that 11-year-old was accused by her neighbours of burning a few pages of a Koran.

As communal tensions continued to rise, about 900 Christians living on the outskirts of Islamabad have been ordered to leave a neighbourhood where they have lived for almost two decades.

One of the senior members of the dominant Muslim community told the Christians to remove all their belongings from their houses by 1 September.

What an oddly respectful way of wording that – it makes him sound like a prime minister instead of a thug. If some male neighbor told me to get out of the neighborhood, I wouldn’t be thinking … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)