Category Archives: 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 […]

Canada poised to repeal its blasphemy law

Since 1892, Canada has had an anti-blasphemy law on the books, to wit (from the Criminal C0de): 296. (1) Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years (2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published […]

Richard Dawkins writes to the Irish Times, offering himself for arrest

Okay, Ireland, you nation with your stupid blasphemy laws: here’s a good test case for you. Arrest Richard Dawkins! Here’s a week-old letter from Dawkins to the Irish Times: Sir, – As a gesture of solidarity with Stephen Fry, I quote a sentence from my book, The God Delusion: “The God of the Old Testament […]