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Category Archive: free expression

Jan 28 2012

Blasphemy is always good

I’ll be speaking at the Blasphemy, religious hatred, and human rights: Who speaks for the sacred? conference today Saturday at Conway Hall in London. My talk will focus on how accusations of blasphemy, offensive speech and ‘Islamophobia’ censor and restrict free speech, limit citizen rights, and aid and abet Islamism. With all that’s going on, …

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Jan 27 2012

LSE Student Union: Can we have a resolution on Christianity-phobia, Atheism-phobia and Judaism-phobia too?

I ask that the LSE Student Union hold another Emergency meeting to issue a resolution on Judaism-phobia, Christianity-phobia and Atheism-phobia. If criticising Islam is racist and discriminatory, well why not the criticism of Judaism, Christianity, or Atheism? I feel left out and to be honest – slightly offended… Here’s what the resolution on Christianity-phobia would …

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Jan 27 2012

LSE Student Union supports criticism of religion – just not Islam

One way that people in Iran survive under the Islamic Republic of Iran is by making fun of its leaders and the clergy. Mockery can be a form of resistance too. Such jokes can be considered blasphemous, particularly since the regime’s leaders represent god’s rule on earth. Free expression, including mockery, though, is sometimes all that …

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Jan 25 2012

The right to offend is fundamental to free expression

Here’s One Law for All’s statement in support of LSE ASH: One Law for All calls on the London School of Economics Student Union to respect and uphold the rights of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH), in particular its right to freedom of expression. Their accusation that the publication of a cartoon featuring …

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Jan 25 2012

We give this kuffar the right to speak

Bruce Gordon has written about the attacks on free speech and 11 February Day for Free Expression in the South African Times Live. He ends by saying: These are direct attacks not only on the freedoms and rights of atheists and skeptics, but on everybody, everywhere. These are attacks on the basic human right to …

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Jan 24 2012

Islamophobia is used to scaremonger people into silence

The Guardian has published a letter calling for an inquiry into the ‘anti-Islam’ press. Whilst racism must be unequivocally condemned, the signatories – like the Guardian, confuse racism with a criticism of Islam. They are not one and the same no matter how many letters and articles the Guardian publishes. Islamophobia is nothing but a …

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Jan 23 2012

It’s London School of Economic’s turn

Now it is the London School of Economics Student Union;s turn having instructed the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH) to remove cartoons featuring Jesus and Mohammed from their Facebook page. LSESU ASH is not complying with the instruction and has appealed to LSESU to withdraw it. Good on them. LSESU ASH President Chris …

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Jan 23 2012

Free Expression Day of Action is our chance to take a stand

The One Law for All 11 February rally for Free Expression is being held in London from 14:00-16:00 hours at the Old Palace Yard opposite the House of Lords. [Here is leaflet for download and distribution.] Confirmed Speakers at London Rally: Hasan Afzal (Stand for Peace), Jenny Bartle (National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular …

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Jan 23 2012

Inaccurate, dogmatically secularist scaremongering!?

Ah yes, the old ‘inaccurate, dogmatically secularist scaremongering [which] plays directly into the hands of the far right and will be used to bolster a racist narrative about the Islamic threat to the West’ response to Joan Smith’s article on the Islamist threat to free expression. I know, I know. Saying that people have a right to …

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Jan 23 2012

When offending sensibilities is more important than death threats

A complaint has been lodged against four authors who read out excerpts from Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses in protest to his being prevented from attending Jaipur Literature Festival due to death threats. One of the authors, Hari Kunzru, says: ‘We wanted to demystify the book. It is, after all, just a book. Not a bomb. …

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Jan 22 2012

How freedom goes

The recent attacks on free expression have been mentioned in the press, by well-known secularists, namely Joan Smith: ‘Strong religious belief is no excuse for intimidation‘ and Nick Cohen: How Freedom Goes. Both have endorsed the 11 February One Law for All day of action in defence of free expression. They may be ‘lone voices’, …

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Jan 22 2012

In defence of Alex Aan

I just got the following email: We are a group of international people, Indonesian as well as other nationalities, including ex-indonesian journalists as well as legal assistants, supporting Alex Aan in regard to his recent arrest and charges under Indonesian law for blasphemy due to his posts on the wall of his Facebook group of …

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Jan 19 2012

Freedom of expression is not just for Islamists

Adam Walker, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association spokesman, says: ‘The principle is more important than who is being attacked – this time it is Muslims and Christians but in the future it could be atheists themselves’. But not causing offence is not a principle the last time I looked. If it were, they would be the …

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Jan 19 2012

We are behind you

The UCL Atheist president has resigned. To those who have resigned and the ones who will take their places: Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid. We are behind you and we aim to win… As an aside, the UCL Union said in a statement: ‘The atheist society has agreed they will take more consideration when drawing …

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Jan 19 2012

HOLD THIS DATE – 11 February 2012: A Day to Defend Free Expression

One Law for All is calling for a rally in defence of free expression and the right to criticise religion on 11 February 2012 in central London from 2-4pm. We are also calling for simultaneous events and acts in defence of free expression on 11 February in countries world-wide. The call follows an increased number …

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Jan 18 2012

Guess whose meeting wasn’t cancelled?

Queen Mary Islamic Society held a meeting today on ‘Traditional Islam’ with Abu Zabair as its speaker. It was advertised on ummahforum.com where the following call to disrupt [read threaten with violence] the 16 January meeting at which Anne Marie Waters was speaking on behalf of One Law for All on Sharia Law and Human Rights was …

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Jan 18 2012

A little personal abuse, bogus accusations and threats of violence

2012-01-18

Another brilliant (and new) Jesus and Mo cartoon. Sound familiar? By the way, I just saw this. Below the comic it says:  ‘Today’s comic is dedicated to Rhys Morgan, Jessica Ahlquist, One Law for All, and Salman Rushdie. Heros, all.’

Jan 18 2012

It’s not just about you or Jesus and Mo

Recently, there have been a number of high profile attacks on free expression by Islamists often supported by educational institutions and others. What I find most absurd about it all is how the fundamental debate on Islam and free expression has become framed within a context of offence, racism and discrimination. What has happened here …

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Jan 18 2012

Teacher arrested in Bangladesh for having Taslima Nasreen’s novel

Please send messages of solidarity with the teacher to [email protected] Press Release We, the undersigned strongly protest the arrest of Mr. Yunus Ali, the Head Teacher of KC Technical and Business Management College of Pirojpur, on 4 January, 2012. Mr. Ali was arrested for having allegedly kept a copy of writer Taslima Nasreen’s novel “Lajja” …

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Jan 17 2012

17 year old forced to remove Jesus and Mo image to evade expulsion

Ophelia Benson and Jen McCreight alerted me to the case of 17 year old UK Student Rhys Morgan who was called into a meeting with his head of year at his sixth form college about the Jesus and Mo image and told that they were considering expelling him if he didn’t take the cartoon down. He …

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