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Blasphemy Laws

The Phobia of Being Called Islamophobic

Ali A. Rizvi | Posted 06.28.2014 | Politics
Ali A. Rizvi

When you're unable to introduce Pakistan-style blasphemy laws in a secular, Western society, you have to find alternative ways to silence those who offend you, right? And that's where the "Islamophobia" smear comes in.

Pakistan's Blasphemy Law Under Attack

Religious News Service | Naveed Ahmad | Posted 02.19.2014 | Religion

ISLAMABAD (RNS) Mohammad Asghar, a 69-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, faces a death sentence in Pakistan for claiming to be the Prophet Muhammad in l...

Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws Are A Death Sentence For Religious Minorities

AP | KATHY GANNON | Posted 01.29.2014 | Religion

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — The elderly man's troubles started when two young men milling inside his homeopathic clinic casually asked him about his rel...

Believe or Die: 4 Member States of the Human Rights Council Where Apostasy Means Death

Bob Churchill | Posted 02.16.2014 | Impact
Bob Churchill

What the report itself did not do was to compare these 77 countries posing "severe" or even "grave" problems, with the member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Let's do that now!

The Shocking Consequence Of False Blasphemy Accusations

Religion News Service | Richard S. Ehrlich | Posted 09.25.2013 | Religion

(RNS) Pakistan’s constitutionally mandated Council of Islamic Ideology told the government anyone who wrongly accuses a person of blasphemy against ...

Pussy Riot + The Russian Orthodox Church = It's Complicated

Scott MacDougall | Posted 08.10.2013 | Religion
Scott MacDougall

When it comes to the relationship between Pussy Riot and the Russian Orthodox Church, it might not be true love, but it certainly isn't irreconcilable differences, just as most true and meaningful things tend to be.

Freedoms Of Press, Speech And Expression: Lost In Translation

Amb. Ufuk Gokcen | Posted 05.13.2013 | Religion
Amb. Ufuk Gokcen

While international efforts establish legal protections for freedom of expression and other freedoms, it is important not to end the discussion there. We must promote engagement and dialogue that remains focused on matters of human dignity.

Pakistan's Polio Program: Suspended at Zero Dark Thirty

Qanta Ahmed, MD | Posted 05.28.2013 | Religion
Qanta Ahmed, MD

Polio is a devastating infectious disease paralyzing many of those infected, but following the Taliban's execution of 16 health workers engaged in Pakistan's polio eradication program in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, preventing polio is now deadlier than the disease.

An Easter Message For Muslims

Joseph Loconte, Ph.D. | Posted 05.28.2013 | Religion
Joseph Loconte, Ph.D.

One of the great themes of the Christian Easter story is that the love of God can overcome the worst of human folly, wickedness and weakness. This idea, if taken seriously, would be a tonic in many parts of the world today, but perhaps nowhere is it more desperately needed than in the Muslim world.

Pakistan's Islam Imperils the Public Space

Qanta Ahmed, MD | Posted 03.25.2013 | World
Qanta Ahmed, MD

Religious intolerance has become de facto a central component of Pakistani identity. This intolerance is legislated within Pakistan's constitution, rooted in a Presidential decree, no less, when Pakistan introduced new legal definitions defining Muslim identity.

Blasphemy Laws And Pakistan: Whose Islam Is It Anyway?

Dr. Faheem Younus | Posted 05.18.2013 | Religion
Dr. Faheem Younus

Harassing minorities in the pretense of blasphemy accusations is not my version of Islam. Maybe that's why Pakistan's constitution does not consider Ahmadi Muslims to be "real" Muslims. But Scripture tells us that it's not Prophet Muhammad's version of Islam either.

Muslims In America, Christians In Pakistan

Ethan Casey | Posted 05.11.2013 | Religion
Ethan Casey

As an American, I feel shamed by the ways that my society mistreats Muslims here. By exactly the same token, Pakistan and all Pakistanis are shamed by mistreatment of Christians in Pakistan.

Principle vs. Privilege Of Free Speech

Harris Zafar | Posted 05.08.2013 | Religion
Harris Zafar

Opponents of Islam claim it denies freedom of speech and censors those who insult Islam. This is factually incorrect. After all, the Prophet Muhammad called differences of opinion a blessing in society and never sought to censor or threaten those who verbally attacked him.

Russia To Rework Bill On Offending Religion

Reuters | Posted 03.29.2013 | Religion

By Steve Gutterman MOSCOW, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The Russian government asked parliament on Sunday to amend a bill that would set jail te...

Egyptian Blogger Sentenced To Prison For Blasphemy And Contempt Of Religion

AP | Posted 12.12.2012 | Religion

CAIRO -- A Cairo court on Wednesday convicted a Coptic Christian blogger who shared an anti-Islam film on social networking sites and sentenced him to...

Dutch To Scrap Blasphemy Law On Insulting God

AP | Posted 11.30.2012 | Religion

AMSTERDAM -- The Almighty will have to defend his own name from now on: Dutch parliament has accepted a motion that will scrap a law making it a crime...

Righting The Wrongs Of Blasphemy Laws

Douglas M. Johnston, Ph.D. | Posted 01.21.2013 | Religion
Douglas M. Johnston, Ph.D.

Every civilization and every religion has experienced similar mob behavior and miscarriages of justice, but that is no excuse for the current misuse of the blasphemy laws that is taking place in Pakistan.

Advancing Freedoms Of Expression And Religion In The Islamic World

Amb. Ufuk Gokcen | Posted 12.25.2012 | Religion
Amb. Ufuk Gokcen

While recent events have allowed our critics to perpetuate a falsehood about the OIC's position on defamation, we must remember that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has made great advances on both freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Why Blasphemy Laws Are Not About Religion

Brandon G. Withrow | Posted 12.15.2012 | Religion
Brandon G. Withrow

Whether you are Pussy Riot locked away in a Russian prison for a "punk prayer" or 14-year old Rimsha Masih, arrested after being accused of burning the Quran, the sad reality is that religious protectionism without freedom of expression is always a tool for power.

Religious Freedom on the Brink

Roy Speckhardt | Posted 12.12.2012 | World
Roy Speckhardt

It seems as though many in the world are far more eager to use religion as a tool for consolidating power than are interested in protecting religious freedom and free speech.

Morsi's Relativization Of Human Rights Would End Arab Spring

Aaron Rhodes | Posted 12.10.2012 | Religion
Aaron Rhodes

In his maiden speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi struck out against the freedom of expression as a universal principle. The speech was warmly received.

Blasphemy Bans Threaten Reform

Ida Lichter, M.D. | Posted 12.10.2012 | Religion
Ida Lichter, M.D.

Freedom of speech is the foundation of all freedoms and intellectual debate, and the cornerstone for development in the Muslim world. If denied, the door to women's reform will close and the Muslim world will regress even further.

Why A Global Blasphemy Law Is The Wrong Response To Islamaphobia

Courtney C. Radsch | Posted 12.10.2012 | Religion
Courtney C. Radsch

There is no evidence that restricting speech prohibits intolerance, and, in fact, evidence shows that prohibitions on so-called blasphemous speech actually increases intolerance and leads to a wide-range of human rights abuses.

Blasphemy Laws: A History

Larry Wolff | Posted 12.02.2012 | Religion
Larry Wolff

One of the reasons to be wary of blasphemy laws, besides the limits that they place on freedom of speech, is that they tend to concede the legitimacy of religious outrage in all its fanatical fury, even though the charge of blasphemy has too often been manipulated for political motives.

Blasphemy Day -- Because We Can!

Edward Falzon | Posted 12.01.2012 | Politics
Edward Falzon

As long as we condemn a video before we condemn a violent reaction to it, we'll always be bestowing power upon those who wish to pass the kind of anti-blasphemy law being pitched at the UN.