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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This morning, Asia Bibi‘s death sentence for “blasphemy” was stayed by the Supreme Court in Pakistan, pending a hearing for her appeal. Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Blasphemy death sentences in Nigeria dominate our immediate concerns. There’s also the ongoing plight of a young blogger in Singapore, and efforts by Christians to reform “blasphemy” laws in Pakistan.
And the Pope apologises to a “heretic” church… 800 years later. Continue reading »
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 »
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 »