The week in “blasphemy” news #37

There were a lot of cases of ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan last year, 1,400, and that’s just the formally registered ones. In another case this week, a Pakistani Christian father has had to flee with his sons after being told he couldn’t use the village’s only clean water tap unless the family converted.

India under Prime Minister Modi is sliding into the same cycle of ‘blasphemy’ violence, as cow protection laws prompt persecution and vigilante killings, one author argues. Meanwhile, an internal Sikh “blasphemy” protest escalates and police raid houses.

Egypt upholds a TV presenters’ “blasphemy” conviction, meaning he may face five years in jail for questioning Salafi Islamism on air. While in the UK, campaigner Maryam Namazie writes on the need to tackle Islamism head on.

And, following a controversial stage performance, there are shock new claims that “Literally Madonna is Lucifer”.

Literally.

All this and more in this unfortunately very full 37th of our weekly updates on blasphemy news and views. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #36

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal considers the countries ‘blasphemy’ law – and says it is valid, unfortunately. Bahrain’s new ‘anti-hatred’ laws aren’t a valid way of combating hatred but will instead further criminalize free expression on religion, say experts. Pakistan’s Supreme Court decides it’s not valid to murder people because you think you have a ‘religious duty’ to implement a death-for-blasphemy norm. There are more ‘blasphemy’ victims in Pakistan, and even the United Kingdom doesn’t escape social discrimination. And an Iranian culture minister decides that Salman Rushie speaking about free speech at a book fair is a violation of freedom of expression.

This is the 36th weekly blasphemy round-up! Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #35

In this Banned Books Week and following International Blasphemy Rights Day, our 35th weekly round-up of ‘blasphemy’ news features India, Iran, Syria and Iraq, Pakistan (just for a change), Egypt, the UK, Canada, Mali, and Denmark. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #34

In Pakistan, a judge confirms death sentences for two brothers, saying that in addition to being accused of ‘blasphemy’ they “also have no belief in Allah Almighty”. Pakistan is also reportedly negotiating with Youtube about a blasphemy-free service so they can un-ban the banned video-sharing platform, and there’s a warning that ISIS may be about to target Pakistani Christians. In United Arab Emirates a man is dragged before court because a strange said he thought he heard him “curse God”. And the BBC interviews players in Bangladesh’s crisis of anti-atheist violence. This is the thirty-fourth of our weekly round-ups of blasphemy news from around the world. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #33

A new “blasphemy” law proposed in Bahrain worries government opposition (and anyone in favour of free expression), Iran’s blasphemy prosecution forces spiritual leader into hunger strike, Pakistan persecutes Hindus and considers amendments, Thailand reacts badly to refugee Christians from Pakistan, India sees a fatwa against a musician for working on the Iranian Muhammad film, and there’s a seriously confused cleric in Morocco. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #32

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The week in “blasphemy” news #31

This is our 31st weekly round-up of “blasphemy” news from around the world. This week: Saudi Arabia versus Iran, ISIS versus history, Russia versus Mephistopheles. There’s murder in India, arrests in Egypt and Gambia, some Muslim groups in Canada are questioning Quebec’s proposed anti-‘blasphemy’ law, and is there a “blasphemous” cult developing around ex-Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga?

  • “Saudi Arabia’s top cleric slams Iran’s movie on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)”
  • ISIS thugs continue to maraud around, blowing up cultural treasures (and stealing some of them for profit), as well as torturing and killing people for no good reason
  • Russia: Historical facade on building destroyed by “religious thugs”
  • India: Campaigner against superstition shot dead in his own home
  • Egypt: Christian arrested for giving out Bibles
  • Gambia: Man faces possible jail sentence for Facebook post featuring Muhammad picture
  • Canada: Concerns on Quebec’s Bill 59 widen
  • Kenya: Cult worshiping recent former Prime Minister is “blasphemy”

Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #30

  • Mauritania: Ensaf Haidar champions cause of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir
  • Malta’s debate on how to implement the end of blasphemy laws continues
  • Canada’s debate on the best way to end blasphemy laws continues
  • Tough crowd? Stand-up comics in Pakistan risk “blasphemy” accusations to make people laugh

This is the thirtieth weekly round-up of “blasphemy” news and views from the End Blasphemy Laws campaign. It’s a round number, number 30, the big three zero. That makes it special, if you’re into that sort of thing. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #29

  • End Blasphemy Laws partners join massive worldwide call to action on Bangladesh blogger murders
  • Blogger murder arrests reported and “paraded”, but are they credible?
  • Pakistan: Three arrested for the crime of using the word “Prophet” on a poster while not being Muslims
  • Pakistan: Where you have to wait an extremely long time in prison to have your “blasphemy” appeal heard
  • Russia: Did activists smash sculptures by renowned Soviet artist because they reckon they’re “blasphemous”?
  • Canada: Would another new anti-hatred bill actually outlaw criticising Islamism?

Week 29 of our weekly round-ups of “blasphemy” news and views. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #28

The week in blasphemy-related news and views, our 28th issue:

  • Bangladesh: Fourth atheist blogger murder in 2015
  • Bangladesh: After another bloody murder, ignorance and betrayal
  • Saudi Arabia: Supreme Court may be reviewing Raif Badawi case
  • Thailand: Two women arrested for dancing because something about morals and religion
  • New Zealand: humanists protest new “stealth” ‘blasphemy’ law
  • Pakistan parliamentarians apparently talk the talk, but will they walk the walk?
  • The Christian and the Humanist – on the right to freedom of religion or belief

Continue reading »