Atheist Ireland at the Constitutional Convention

Michael Nugent provides video and transcripts of three speeches Saturday at the Constitutional Convention meeting about blasphemy law.

A bit from Michael’s:

You have rights, your beliefs do not. That is the essence of freedom of conscience.

You can respect my right to believe that there is no God, while not respecting the content of my belief. And I can respect your right to believe that there is a God, without respecting the content of your belief.

But blasphemy laws discriminate against atheists. They treat religious beliefs and sensitivities as more worthy of legal protection than atheist beliefs and sensitivities. [Read more…]

Loosen the screws, the better to tighten them

Hmm, it’s good to get rid of a blasphemy law, but it’s not good to replace it with “a new general provision to include incitement to religious hatred” – meaning, apparently, to include something that forbids so-called incitement to religious hatred. Unfortunately that’s just what Ireland’s constitutional convention has recommended, according to the Irish Times.

The constitutional offence of blasphemy should be replaced with a new general provision to include incitement to religious hatred, the constitutional convention has recommended. [Read more…]

I can apostasize if I want to, and so can you

Sign up to Maryam’s call for action to defend apostates and blasphemers, if you haven’t already.

More than two hundred individuals and organisations have already signed up to the call for action to defend apostates and blasphemers. Individuals include Iranian Campaigner Mina Ahadi, Lebanese writer and actress Darina al Joundi, Algerian author Djemila Benhabib, Scientist Richard Dawkins, Moroccan atheist Imad Iddine Habib, Algerian Secularist Marieme Helie Lucas, Iraqi Kurd women’s rights activist Houzan Mahmoud, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, Iranian/German author Siba Shakib and writer Ibn Warraq amongst others. Supporting organisations include Atheist Alliance International, Atheist Foundation of Australia, Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Polish Rationalist Society, and The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The updated list of signatories can be found here.

Strength in numbers!

 

It’s blasphemy to blaspheme against blasphemy laws

Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, has been accused of “blasphemy” for criticizing Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in a tv interview two years ago. There are a lot of people who take criticism to be blasphemy, aren’t there…

Rehman has been a critic of the controversial laws, which have been widely condemned by rights organization and deemed discriminatory. [Read more…]

Apples but not bananas? What about pineapples?

Hahahaha this is great – did you know the Apple logo is blasphemous?

Yes well once you’re told of course you can see it. Apple; bite missing. But would you have thought of it if you hadn’t been told? Aha!!1! I thought not. You’re probably blasphemous yourself.

In this case it’s a sect of ultra-Orthodox believers in Russia that are claiming that the Apple logo is indeed blasphemous: [Read more…]

Couldn’t the UN just put a stop to it?

Katha Pollitt on blasphemy. She starts with a public radio chat in which John Hockenberry said to BBC chief Jeremy Bowen:

Hockenberry: I’m wondering if it’s possible for the United Nations to create an initiative that would talk about some sort of global convention on blasphemy, that would create a cooperative enterprise to control these kinds of incidents, not to interfere into anybody’s free speech rights but to basically recognize that there is a global interest in keeping people from going off the rails over a perceived sense of slight by enforcing a convention of human rights, only in this particular case it would be anti-blasphemy? [Read more…]

Golden Dawn v Elder Pastitsios

More on “Elder Pastitsios” and blasphemy laws in Greece. The links are to sites in Greek.

Four days before the arrest on September 17, MP Christos Pappas from the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party had brought the page to the attention of the justice minister and submitted an official inquiry into why the Facebook page was not being addressed by the Eletronic Crimes Unit. According to site NewsIt*, the police claim they had already concluded their investigation two days before the question was raised in parliament. Following the publication of the arrest, Greece’s leftist primary opposition party SYRIZA strongly denounced* the arrest as did its offshoot and now ruling coalition junior partner Democratic Left as well as the Greek Communist Party. Center-left party PASOK – also a member of the ruling coalition – issued a more tepid response opposing the arrest but affirming the need to “protect religious and national identity”. Golden Dawn lauded the arrest stating* that their MP’s question “mobilized the government into taking action”.

It’s International Blasphemy Day in two days. I trust you are preparing.

 

She wept and begged to be released

Spare a thought for that little girl in Pakistan who is in jail for “blasphemy” because she (supposedly, allegedly, some asshole saidly) had some pages of the Koran in a bag of trash, or put some pages of the Koran in a fire along with other trash, or some such stupid meaningless unreasonable bit of nonsense. Spare a thought for her, because she wants to get out. She would probably prefer to be at home, with people who love her and take care of her.

According to the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad, Rimsha’s lawyer said that when he saw her in jail over the weekend she wept and begged to be released.

Her parents have been taken into protective custody following threats, and many other Christian families are reported to have fled the neighbourhood.

There are fears that even if she is released, Rimsha’s family will not be safe in Pakistan. Others accused of blasphemy have been killed by vigilante mobs in the recent past.

Human beings: finding shitty reasons to torment each other for 100,000 years.