Category Archives: blasphemy

Canada repeals its blasphemy law

Thanks to several humanist groups, the Canadian blasphemy law, which hasn’t been much used, has just been repealed. As reported by Humanists UK, the bill passed the Canadian Parliament two days ago and now “awaits royal assent”. (Those ties to the UK still irk me. Why the hell does the Queen have to certify this?) […]

Asia Bibi’s request for asylum was indeed rejected by Britain

As I reported in the last few weeks (see here, here, and here), the case of Asia Bibi (real name Aasiya Noreen), the Pakistani Christian woman convicted of blasphemy and then freed, has taken some distressing turns. After spending eight years in solitary confinement for an accusation of blasphemy that proved to be false (blasphemy […]

More on the Asia Bibi case

As I reported yesterday, taking my news from the HuffPo UK, Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian falsely convicted of blasphemy and then freed after eight years on death row in solitary confinement, appeared to have been denied asylum in the UK. The denial was reportedly based on the possibility that Bibi’s presence in the UK […]

Asia Bibi reportedly denied asylum in the UK because of “possible unrest” among “certain sections of the community”

Not long ago I wrote about the plight of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who was sentenced to death for blasphemy after she got into a row with the Muslim women in her village. As I wrote at the time: The details of her case show a country steeped in hatred, ignorance, and faith (some […]

Pakistan overturns death sentence of “blaspheming” Christian

Of all the countries I wouldn’t want to live in because of government and civil repression, the first is, of course, North Korea. The second, however, is Pakistan. Not only did they ban my website because I “offended the sentiments of Muslims”, but, as a vociferous nonbeliever (and a secular Jew), I’d be a goner. […]

Irish blasphemy law set to go down in flames

You might be aware that Irish voters went to the polls today, among other things to elect the the president and, most important, to repeal the Irish blasphemy law that’s been around since 1937. As Quartz explains: The Irish Constitution, written in 1937, states that “the publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an […]

More about the Austrian “pedophile prophet” case

Yesterday I reported that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that an Austrian woman, by teaching that the prophet Muhammad had married a six-year-old wife (Aisha), and then consummated the marriage three years later, had engaged in defamation of religion in a way that hurt religious sentiments. The ECHR was upholding two Austrian […]

European Court of Human Rights upholds blasphemy law: Defaming the Prophet Muhammad or his marriage to a six year old girl hurts people’s “religious feelings”

I’m gobsmacked, as I hadn’t been aware of this case. This comes from the Andelou Agency, a Turkish website, so it’s not gonna be critical of this decision. The text: Strasbourg: Defaming the Prophet Muhammed “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace” […]

Italian soccer player suspended for making blasphemous remarks (to himself)

As the BBC Sports news reported yesterday (click on screenshot), Italian soccer player Rolando Mandragora was suspended for one game for making “blasphemous remarks.” The thing is, nobody heard them: they were spoken to himself, and authorities deciphered what he said by reading his lips on videos. The crime? Mandragora insulted both God and the […]

At last: Ireland to have a referendum on its blasphemy law

You probably know, if you’ve hung around here a while, that Ireland has a blasphemy law on the books, which I wrote about five years ago. It was passed in 2009 as the “Defamation Act,” but really just continued a 1937 provision of the Irish Constitution. Here it is (my emphasis): 36.— (1) A person […]