Speak Out for Bangladesh Bloggers

Violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of speech have dramatically increased over the past few years in Bangladesh. This year, four secular and humanist bloggers were hacked to death, apparently for “insulting Islam”. Niladri Chatterjee (Niloy Neel)Ananta Bijoy Das, Md Washiqur Rahman Babu and Avijit Roy  were murdered on 7 August, 12 May, 30 March and 27 February 2015 respectively, by Islamist radicals. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #20

Raif Badawi’s third year imprisoned for “insulting religion” begins in Saudi Arabia.

There’s movement, but worrying signs, in the trial of four Coptic Christian teenagers accused of “mimicking Islam” in Egypt.

Pakistan is, maybe, edging toward reform, but Islamic clerics are fighting to preserve Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in no uncertain terms (“those who insult the Muslim prophet Muhammad deserve to be killed”).

And following a concerted effort by Christians offended by cat-based religious imagery, heretical “Virgin Meowy” socks have been clawed from sale by their online retailer, PacSun.com.

This is your 20th weekly round-up of “blasphemy”-related news and views. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #19

Anti-Christian violence in Egypt as well as in Pakistan, a children’s book about the Koran is cancelled due to death-for-blasphemy fears, there’s a woman in a fake beard in Russia, and again in Pakistan the health of death row inmate Asia Bibi – sentenced to hang back in 2010 – is reportedly seriously deteriorating.

This is the 19th weekly roundup of blasphemy news and views from the End Blasphemy Laws campaign, run by the International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #18

Raif BSaudi Arabia confirms Raif Badawi’s sentence – let’s increase the pressure, this is the only action left. Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin relocated in the US after serious threats to her safety. Pakistan blasphemy laws could soon be modified to combat increasing “misuse”. But is that a real progress? New charges of “blasphemy” and “insult to religion” in Egypt and Myanmar against a TV presenter and a writer. Last but not least, a new resolution calling for the repeal of “blasphemy” laws worldwide is on track at the US House of Representatives.

This is our eighteenth round-up of “blasphemy” news and views from the past seven days.
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The week in “blasphemy” news #17

In Pakistan, alleged “blasphemy” results in anti-Christian violence and in calls to repeal blasphemy laws. Washinghton DC subway decides to ban political ads on the Metro after controversy over a cartoon proposed by US anti-Muslim group.

Activists protest against the killing of Bangladeshi blogger Ananta Bijoy Das in Dhaka (12 May 2015) The murders of the bloggers have triggered large scale protests across Bangladesh. Copyright BBCIn Bangladesh, another secular blogger fears for his life and the government bans Islamist group accused of blogger attacks. In India, Punjab language department relaunches a “blasphemy” book and hurriedly withdraws the order. Hundreds of youths protest in Kano, Nigeria against a Muslim cleric accused of “blasphemy”.

In the UK, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams defends “blasphemy” as ‘the language of protest’.

This is our seventieth round-up of “blasphemy” news and views from the past seven days. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #16

Authors call for justice in Bangladesh. Further sentencing in Afghanistan lynch mob case, but is it justice? Cartoonists face injustice in many parts of the world. In Pakistan there’s limited justice for a couple burnt to death last year, and the assassin of politician Salman Taseer appeals justice on the highly legally sophisticated grounds that he thought his victim was a blasphemer so murder’s fine then isn’t it?

This is our sixteenth round-up of “blasphemy” news and views from the past seven days.

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The week in “blasphemy” news #15

This week, the terror against Bangladesh’s atheist, humanist and secularist intellectual community deepens, with another shocking assassination of an atheist blogger, the third such killing in 2015 alone.

Also, Egypt features heavily, with blasphemy law being used to detain or imprison several Christians in three separate cases.

And in Pakistan, a senior politician is accused of “blasphemy” for criticising certain religious schools as “centers of ignorance”. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #14

Since we’re called “End Blasphemy Laws”, let’s start with the good news: Can you guess which European country has – technically – just repealed its “blasphemy” law this week?

Meanwhile in not-so-good news, a foiled gun attack in Texas; Egypt arrests children of Coptic background for blasphemy – after mocking ISIS of all things!; India convicts a hand-chopping blasphemy mob; Charlie Hebdo gets that award from PEN America!; Pakistan issues a 25-year sentence for “desecrating sacred scriptures”; and the west continues to protest Raif Badawi’s sentence, but it’s not enough.

Our fourteenth weekly round-up of “blasphemy” news and views starts right here. Continue reading »