The week in “blasphemy” news #7

A woman is lynched on the streets of Kabul for supposedly “burning the Koran”. A man is sentenced to death for “reading incorrectly” in Pakistan. And Buddhist “blasphemy” charges sees three men jailed in Myanmar.

Meanwhile, a Russian “blasphemy” case is thrown out of court, only for the Ministry for Culture to announce an “audit” of the accused theatre company! And after two years there’s been some progress at last in the investigation into the murder of an atheist accused of “insulting Islam” in Bangladesh — But why is the march of justice so slow?

Our weekly round-up of “blasphemy” news, for the week ending Friday 20 March… Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #6

Public beheadings for blasphemy and homosexuality, a diplomatic furore stemming from Raif Badawi’s “insult to Islam” sentence, the Dalai Lama “blasphemes” his own religion, says China, and Rafida Bonya Ahmed speaks out after her husband’s murder three short weeks ago. Continue reading »

The week in “blasphemy” news #5

The aftermath of the murder of Avijit Roy sees the authorities acting – but it appears a case of too little, far too late. Turkey blocks the website of the Turkish Atheism Association. An anti-“blasphemy” campaigners in the UK have a slightly sinister message. The fifth of our weekly round-ups of “blasphemy” news. Continue reading »

Action alert for Europe

European Parliament, Brussels

European Parliament, Brussels

Earlier this week, three members of our International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws spoke at the European Parliament Platform for Secularism in Politics on an event specifically about freedom of expression and blasphemy laws. Our partners pressed a number of points, including the need to abolish the last remaining “blasphemy” laws and similar restrictions still in force in the European Union.

Now supporting partners the British Humanist Association have launched an online tool to help you do just that, by writing to your Member of the European Parliament (MEP) via: Continue reading »

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 »