As UN meets, apply pressure against blasphemy laws

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Blasphemy and other religious-defamation laws in Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and even Russia put people behind bars and on death row. As the UN General Assembly begins, these countries must be put under intense pressure to conform to global human rights standards.

As the UN General Assembly begins its new session, a colossal gulf is again visible – a gulf between what international human rights law and UN resolutions say, and what some member nations do. A concrete effort must be made by the international community to close this gulf.

One glaring example is how some countries treat people who dare to express dissenting views about religion. A number of nations uphold and enforce laws that punish their own citizens for religious dissent or what they view as deviance from sacred norms. Under such laws and practices, dissidents may find their views labeled as blasphemous, defamatory, or insulting to religious symbols, figures, or feelings. If they are tried and convicted, some face draconian punishments, including execution.

Written By: Robert P. George
continue to source article at csmonitor.com

16 COMMENTS

  1. There is a difference between saying “kill all the muslims” and “the Islamic religion lacks evidence”. There is a move to become touchy and pretend the two are the same thing.

    I have noticed here in BC “racism” is being used for anyone who disagrees with a first nations person. You are a racist if you think natives should integrate, or that they should not be compensates for wrongs to their ancestors. There are 100 demonstrators spending days complaining a newspaper published a letter to the editor suggesting natives should change track if they ever want to achieve economic success.

    It is a bit like a Nazi trying to say something reasonable about Jews. Unless it is 100% positive it is interpreted as racist.

  2. Blasphemy laws seem to be very monotheistic (The Church has stopped killing and torturing for the last few centuries, and the Jews stopped crippling with public lashings – only because they don’t have a Temple and Sanheidrin anymore, while Muslims still do it). The Orthodox Church has a foothold in Russia making it an offense of the State (no difference, really). Polytheism and Henothism, as weird as multi-God acceptance is, seems to be more accepting, in that I cannot find an instance where someone was executed for pointing out that Ares was a philandering twit!

    • Socrates for one

      In reply to #2 by Egross:

      Blasphemy laws seem to be very monotheistic (The Church has stopped killing and torturing for the last few centuries, and the Jews stopped crippling with public lashings – only because they don’t have a Temple and Sanheidrin anymore, while Muslims still do it). The Orthodox Church has a foothold in…

  3. The irony of blasphemy laws is this: they will sooner be used to target believers than non-believers. That’s because different beliefs or religions are not only usually mutually exclusive; they are also often mutually blaspheming. I think Monty Python said it best.

  4. my roomate’s mom makes $61 every hour on the laptop. She has been unemployed for 8 months but last month her pay was $16202 just working on the laptop for a few hours. read review………… gg.gg/ho00

  5. One can’t help noticing just how touchy even some atheists can be about insults against religion.
    Religion’s glory days (you should pardon the pun) are swiftly coming to an end and religion has to take its lumps like every other institution on earth does.

    These countries that kill people who insult religion must be sent a powerful message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
    As it has been said many times ,blasphemy is a victimless crime.

  6. The term “blasphemy law” should be changed to “patently bad excuse for persecution”. The colloquial expression “I’m gonna get medieval on your ass” ought to be changed to “I’m gonna get Islamic on your ass”

  7. Why don’t gods ever speak for themselves instead of leaving it up to mere humans who can only guess at what their god/gods really think or care about? Any god worth its salt would love a shouting match with a blaspehemer. Well, so the holey books tell us.

  8. God, if he exists, must be pretty relaxed about blasphemy and anyway he knows he can get his own back on Judgement Day.

    So blasphemy law is really about protecting the oh-so-precious sensitivities of mere mortals who are so insecure in their precious little faiths that they are worried if someone points out the slightest little inconsistency they’ll go mad or turn atheist or something.

    Freedom of speech must always trump blasphemy. Any government which passes or upholds a blasphemy law is not worthy of the name.

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