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

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The week in “blasphemy” news #27

  • Saudi Arabia really doesn’t want anyone, anywhere in the world to talk critically about (or “insult”) religion
  • Two pastors in Sudan escape death penalty, after being freed on time served
  • Journalist Shoaib Adil is in hiding after being accused of “blasphemy” in Pakistan
  • Secular groups lobby Nigeria to Save the Kano Nine
  • The gay Pride stabbing in Jerusalem was wrong, but Pride is “blasphemy”, says Rabbi
  • New Zealand has a new, second law that could function as criminalizing “blasphemy”, this time specifically anything that seriously upsets someone who is a religious person if it happens via the internet
  • Asia Bibi’s lawyer complains of government failures in death-for-blasphemy case
  • Copts in the US call for support of Bill demanding worldwide repeal of blasphemy laws

This is the Friday round-up of news in “blasphemy” for Friday 7 August 2015. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #26

This week:

  • In Sudan, two pastors await sentencing on “blasphemy” and a host of other charges, facing a possible death sentence
  • Someone posts something someone doesn’t like on a Whatsapp page, some idiot runs to the police with a screenshot
  • United Arab Emirates: That new ‘anti-discrimination’ law all the human rights groups and commentators said might be used to censor critics, is being used to censor critics
  • Pakistan releases blasphemy-accused Arif Yousuf after it turns out that the charges were made by people wiht a grudge and without any evidence and they got his job wrong and how on earth did it ever end up with him in jail in the first place?
  • Meanwhile, Asia Bibi is still in jail pending appeal, with new disputes over the status of her health and visits by her lawyer
  • Religion must be defended from its own extremism, says a Foreign Policy opinion piece
  • And Jesus and Mo accuse those who argue against blasphemy bans of blasphemy

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The week in “blasphemy” news #25

In this our twenty-fifth weekly round-up of “blasphemy” news and views:

  • Two new laws, in United Arab Emirates and in Kuwait, sneak in new “blasphemy” bans.
  • Charlie Hebdo‘s new editor says they won’t be publishing Muhammad cartoons anymore, and Salman Rushdie says we’ve “learned the wrong lessons” from violence.
  • Meanwhile in Pakistan, “justice” comes very, very slowly! Six years after her arrest and detention, Asia Bibi’s death sentence is suspended and an appeal over her conviction is pending, while another “blasphemy” convict, who had also been jailed for six years, has been acquitted and his life sentence overturned. But you win some you lose some: two Christian brothers are facing a brand new “blasphemy” trial. Will Pakistan’s courts never learn to just throw these stupid malicious charges out?!
  • Plus… more Malta abolition debate, the Saudi ambassador to the UN’s surprising statement on Raif Badawi, and “homosexual” rainbows in Saudi Arabia…

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The week in “blasphemy” news #24

A young man is on trial for insulting religion in Iraqi Kurdistan after giving a presentation on the Big Bang at school. Two journalists are on trial in Turkey for translating and publishing a small image in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo. A relatively wealthy author in Pakistan is sued for money by his own disenchanted family, because he was previously accused of “blasphemy”, even though he was acquitted. The abolition debate continues in Malta. Come on Malta!

Plus: asking loud speaker-brandishing muezzin to keep it down a bit; blasphemous condoms from a very “progressive” seminary; and a holier-than-thou Amazon dispatcher putting notes in your music purchases!

It’s the twenty-fourth of our weekly “blasphemy” news round-ups. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #23

This week, there’s news of another possible “blasphemy” law repeal, this time in Malta. Meanwhile, in areas controlled by militant group ISIS, reports detail ongoing torture and executions, including of young children, for such supposed crimes as “blasphemy”.

In Sudan there’s news of possible death sentences for two “blasphemous” Christian pastors, while in Bangladesh the media has been muddying the water with alleged “disinformation” over the murder of atheist bloggers, and Bangladeshi Islamists have again marched demanding the death of a supposed “non-believer”. In Pakistan, Asia Bibi’s husband, in a tragic and heartfelt interview, talks about his love for his jailed wife, and the anti-blasphemy extremists threatening her life, even if she is ever released.

In cultural news, a Saudi satire on ISIS is branded “heresy” and gets death threats; and in India, a regional Zoroastrian organization is trying to ban a Snoop Dogg video.

This is the twenty-third of our weekly round-ups of blasphemy-related news and views. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #22

There’s good news and bad this week, as Iceland, parliamentarians yesterday abolished the country’s antiquated blasphemy law, and in Pakistan there was some rare positive and timely police intervention saving a Christian couple from being “beaten to death” by a blasphemy mob. But Nigeria has confirmed 9 “blasphemy” death sentences, and New Zealand has a suspiciously broadly-worded new law…

This is the 22nd of our weekly round-ups of blasphemy news and views. Continue reading »

Blasphemy Law Abolished in Iceland!

Iceland’s parliament agreed today to abolish the blasphemy provision of the Criminal Code. The Pirate Party’s parliamentarians submitted the proposal in January, which received broad support from all other political parties in Parliament and the matter was unanimously supported by the committee examining the proposal. Icelanders have now taken an important step in guaranteeing human rights and joined other nations which respect freedom of speech and expression. Continue reading »