Topic / Blasphemy

Death sentence for man who blasphemed on Facebook

In a week that saw Canada ditch its 90-year-old blasphemy law, an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan sentenced a man to death for committing blasphemy on Facebook. A court in Bahawalpur yesterday handed down the verdict – the harshest yet for such a crime – after finding Taimoor Raza, 30, above, guilty of insulting the “prophet” […]

Hopes that New Zealand would bin its blasphemy laws dashed

Last week we reported that New Zealand was on the brink of scrapping its blasphemy laws, but today, to the anger of many, politicians voted to keep them. At least for a while longer. According to this report, parliament had the opportunity to remove decades-old anti-blasphemy laws but bailed out yesterday, leaving blasphemy an offence punishable […]

Pokémon Go player sentenced for inciting religious hatred

Ruslan Sokolovsky, above, arrested last August for committing the horrendous crime of playing the video game in the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land in Yekaterinburg, was given a suspended jail sentence this week. The blogger, according to this report, compounded his offence by posting his caper on […]

Stephen Fry case sounds death knell for blasphemy law in NZ

The foolish police investigation of Stephen Fry for allegedly blaspheming on TV in Ireland has prompted New Zealand to scrap its blasphemy law. According to this report,  David Seymour, above, leader of ACT, a minor opposition party, instigated the move, saying lawmakers of all stripes wanted to end what they saw as an archaic curb […]

Celebrating apostasy and blasphemy in London in July

The Freethinker interviews Maryam Namazi and Marieme Helie Lucas ahead of the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in the 21 Century scheduled to take place in London between July 22 and 24, 2017. Why organise an international conference on free conscience and expression? Maryam Namazie: Atheists and freethinkers are targeted by Islamists […]

Police halt Stephen Fry blasphemy investigation

An Irish police investigation into allegedly blasphemous comments made by Stephen Fry during a TV interview has been dropped after detectives decided there were not enough people who had been offended by the remarks. Police launched an investigation into the presenter, author and comedian after he described God as “capricious”, “mean-minded”, “stupid” and an “utter […]

Indonesian Governor jailed for blaspheming against Islam

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, above, better known by his nickname Ahok, has been handed a two-year jail sentence insulting Islam. According to the Guardian, the blasphemy charge related to Ahok’s use of a passage of the Koran during campaigning for his re-election to the post of Governor  of Jakarta in September, Hardline Islamist groups that this […]

Ireland made to look stupid over blasphemy complaint

News that actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry is being investigated for possibly breaching Ireland’s blasphemy law, went viral at the weekend and has attracted condemnation from many quarters. Professor David Nash, above, an international expert on the history and contemporary status of blasphemy laws throughout Europe and beyond, told Atheist Ireland: This incident really […]

Three women are to be put on trial for parading a giant vagina

Thanks to an intervention by Spain’s Association of Christian Lawyers (ACL), three women who paraded a giant vagina through the streets of Seville in 2014 could be convicted for a ‘religious hate crime’. According to this report, at their first trial a judge acquitted the three, saying they had legitimately exercised freedom of expression. This […]

Play featuring biblical figures as gay branded ‘blasphemous’

America Needs Fatima, a conservative Catholic group, has slammed an Atlanta theatre for planning to stage The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, a play  that re-imagines biblical figures as queer. According to this report, the Out Front Theatre Company’s production the play doesn’t officially open until April 27, but has already been slammed as “blasphemous” by […]