Category Archives: blasphemy

“Islamophobia motion” in Canada stirs controversy

There’s a great to-do in Canada about a motion (“M-103”, which is not a law but a recommendation) about discrimination, one that singles out “Islamophobia” as deserving special mention. The bill was introduced last December by the Liberal MP Iqra Khalid, a Pakistani-Canadian, and is being discussed now in the House of Commons. Here it […]

Indian man in Saudi Arabia faces beheading for posting image offensive to Islam

While we’re calling out countries for their violations of human rights, let’s not forget Saudi Arabia. According to two sources (here and here), an Indian gardner in Saudi Arabia has been arrested for posting an image on Facebook (taken from the Internet, I think) of the Hindu god Shiva sitting on top of the Kaaba, the […]

Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Muslim infidels

The new Jesus and Mo strip, called “dear”, came with this note in the email alert: Religion demanding respect again, and getting it. The link to “getting it” doesn’t work, but it’s about the British gymnast Louis Smith, who got a two-month ban from his gymnastics governing body for getting drunk at a wedding, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” and […]

Australian territory passes anti-blasphemy law

You may not know that in many parts of Australia, blasphemy—the criticism of religion—remains a criminal offense, though it’s almost never enforced. Wikipedia describes the complicated situation: All common law offences were abolished and replaced by a criminal code without replacing the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel with criminal code offences in […]

Open thread: Lahore, Pakistan

by Grania There have been two really good articles that I have read since the appalling violence in Pakistan. The first is by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid writing in The Guardian. It is a very clearly written analysis of the religious and political tensions in Pakistan and why this is happening. It has been pointed out […]

Russian faces prison for denying God’s existence during a webchat

In 2012, the Russian feminist group Pussy Riot created a “performance” in a Moscow cathedral protesting Putin’s support for the Orthodox Church. Three of the women were arrested, charged with religiously-motivated hooliganism, and sentenced to two years in a “penal colony” (the modern-day gulag). One was freed on appeal, and two of them were given amnesty in December, 2013.  But that wasn’t […]

German fined for blaspheming Christianity via car slogans

Come on, Europeans and Canadians—get rid of your stupid blaphemy laws! Yes, they’re almost never enforced, but they’re unworthy of an enlightened society. Among the “Western” countries who have them on the books are Denmark, Canada, Andorra, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, […]

Two cases of blasphemy: Muslim boy cuts off own hand after a mistake, Indian comedian arrested for mocking guru

1. From the Express Tribune and International New York Times.  This story, from Pakistan is unbelievable: A 15-year-old boy cut off his own hand believing he had committed blasphemy, only to be celebrated by his parents and neighbours for the act, police told AFP on Friday. Local police chief Nausher Ahmed described how an imam told […]

Media hypocrisy: they can’t bear to show Muhammad mocked, but mocking God is fine

When the Charlie Hebdo massacre took place a year ago yesterday, it was of course widely reported. But one bit of reportorial information was missing: the cartoons that brought on that attack. It was hard to find images of any earlier cartoons of Muhammad or even of the touching first cover that appeared after the slaughter—this one: […]

Hindu blasphemy: cricketer M. S. Dhoni in trouble for posing as Vishnu

We usually think of “blasphemy” as a crime committed against Islam, but it’s also a crime to mock religion in many places. Those include India, where people have been prosecuted for “insulting” Catholicism and Hinduism. And remember the three people jailed in Myanmar for advertising an event at a bar with a poster of Buddha wearing headphones? That violated that […]