Topic / Free speech

MP slams BBC for vilifying Olympic athlete Louis Smith

Conservative MP Charles Walker has accused the BBC of placing itself ‘firmly at the head of the mob’ who attacked Louis Smith for lampooning Islam. Walker also said the Government was “nowhere to be seen” when it should have been defending free expression. He added that the Government’s silence over the hounding and death threats […]

Dutch politician Geert Wilders guilty of racial discrimination

Dutch politician Geert Wilders, convicted yesterday of inciting racial discrimination against Moroccans living in the Netherlands, is to appeal against the verdict reached by what he earlier described as ‘a kangeroo court’. Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court would not impose a sentence on Wilders, head of the right wing PVV Freedom Party. because the […]

Expelled from Boston Atheists for Thought Crime

I have written for the atheist/secular humanist press since 1974, when my first article appeared in the venerable British monthly, The Freethinker (established 1881).  I remember that, from time to time, we would debate the best names to apply to ourselves: atheist, agnostic, freethinker, or secular humanist.  I myself have always liked freethinker — someone […]

Prime Minister Theresa May questioned over Smith ban

It’s good to see free speech advocates vigorously fighting back against the ludicrous suspensions imposed on Olympic gymnasts Louis Smith and Luke Carson for mocking Islamic prayer. A petition has been launched calling for the ban to be lifted, and yesterday in parliament Tory MP Charles Walker, above, accused politicians of having “looked the other […]

Muslim TV presenter slams press watchdog’s ruling

Fatima Manji, above, claims that a ‘green light for newspapers to attack minorities and Muslims in particular’ has been given by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) which dismissed a complaint she lodged against Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie. According to the Guardian, her complaint centred on MacKenzie’s criticism of Channel 4 News for letting her […]

Former Charlie Hebdo religion editor attacks ‘fascist’ Islam

Zineb El Rhazoui, above, has published a book in  France entitled  Detruire Le Fascisme Islamique (Destroy Islamic Fascism) which she dedicates to ‘Muslim atheists’ and will no doubt increase the significant number of enemies she already has. According to the New York Times, the book is “an unapologetic strike” against the strict application of Islam […]

Contrite gymnast Louis Smith misses parade to visit mosques

Louis Smith, above right, the UK gymnast who offended Muslims by ridiculing Islamic prayer, missed a parade of British Olympian athletes in London yesterday – because he was attending two mosques. The Mirror, which exposed a video showing Smith mocking Muslims, reported that he visited two mosques in London “to learn more about the Islamic […]

Egyptian TV presenter approves shooting of Jordanian writer

Reporting on the assassination a week ago of prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar,  Hani Nahhas, above, of Alhadas Elyoum TV, told viewers that Hattar’s “blasphemy” did not count as free speech and that he deserved to ‘stand trial in God’s court. They say [Hattar] is a martyr, killed for the sake of freedom of speech, but […]

Teenage blogger jailed in Singapore for the second time

Fifteen months after he was given a prison sentence for ‘wounding religious feelings’, teenage blogger Amos Yee, above, was today sentenced to six weeks imprisonment for a similar ‘crime’ and fined $2,000. According to this report, the 17-year-old was found guilty of eight charges – two for failing to turn up at a police station […]

Charlie Hebdo again sparks fury with bare Muslims cover

Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, unleashed a fresh wave of death threats last week with the publication of an edition showing two naked Muslims, along with the words ‘Musulmans … Dé-coin-cez-vous ! which loosely translates to ‘Muslims, free yourselves!’ According to this report, the Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into threats against […]