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.
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.
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.
- Bangladesh Prime Minister imagines land of social harmony, if only everyone would never have a debate about religion again
- Pakistan: “Hasty” and “brutal” blasphemy charge against Christian labourer accused by business competitors
- Courageous Pakistani human rights lawyer of 33 years: “my work is for humanity”, and re blasphemy law “There is a big problem”
- Richard Dawkins does not like the sound of Quebec Canada’s proposed new quasi-blasphemy law
- International Blasphemy Rights Day approaches (30 September)
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”
- 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.
- 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?
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
- 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