The week in “blasphemy” news #4

Humanist blogger Avijit Roy murdered after he “insulted Islam” by writing about science and secularism in Bangladesh; a death sentence for apostasy over a “blasphemous” video clip in Saudi Arabia; book-burning and statue-smashing in Iraq under ISIS; and in Lebanon it’s “Je Suis Charbel” as satire against ISIS is prosecuted as “insult to Islam”.

Another Friday review of the past week in news related to “blasphemy” laws, accusations, and violence! Continue reading »

Avijit Roy, murdered after “defamation of religion” death threats

Avijit Roy

Avijit Roy

News has broken tonight that freethinking writer Avijit Roy has been murdered in a machete attack at the Dhaka international book fair.

Known proudly and affectionately by fellow freethought bloggers as “the Richard Dawkins of Bangladesh”, Roy had been on a visit back to Bangladesh from the United States to launch a new book. He had been repeatedly accused and threatened over claims that his writings on reason, freethought and humanism were “blasphemous” or “defamed religion”. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #3

It’s been three weeks since we launched the End Blasphemy Laws Campaign, partly as a response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris in January.

Last weekend, almost certainly ‘inspired’ by the Paris attacks, a new and similar atrocity—first hitting a “blasphemy” target then a Jewish target—was perpetrated on the Danish capital Copenhagen. Continue reading »

How our partners responded on Copenhagen

Flowers laid at the synagogue, after a gunman killed two people in two separate attacks in the Danish capital at the weekend

Flowers laid at the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen

Many of our partner organisations made statements in response to the tragic shootings in Copenhagen at the weekend.

A lone gunman targeted a cafe hosting a seminar on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression”, then the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen, leaving two victims dead and five police and security officers injured. He was later killed by police. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #2

Appeal against death sentences for text messages, demands for new “blasphemy” law in India, the insidious defense of an assassin, and an entire Christian community still living in slums after the 2012 Islamabad “blasphemy” riots. Another week in “blasphemy” laws, accusations, and persecution… Continue reading »

One week in “blasphemy”

In the first week of the End Blasphemy Laws Campaign, there have been “blasphemy”-related mob violence and looting, reportedly resulting in two deaths, an attack on a Christian school ostensibly in response to caricatures in the publication Charlie Hebdo, and a senior Pakistani politician publicly placed a bounty on the life of the owner of that infamous magazine. Continue reading »

Reaction to our new International Coalition

Our campaign was launched last Friday, by a brand new International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws.

Initially a merger of two parallel efforts by humanist, atheist and other secular organizations, we’re pleased to announce today that in the first week we’ve been joined by several religious organizations speaking out against “blasphemy” laws; mostly these groups describe themselves as liberal Muslim groups or in similar terms; in addition we welcome various ex-Muslim, human rights, some Christian, and further secular and freethought groups. See our Partners page for the full and growing list of partners in this extraordinary coalition. Continue reading »