The right to blaspheme is fundamental—and it’s under attack.
In as many as 33 Muslim-majority countries today, most of which have Islam as their state religion, daring simply to speak out against religious customs, express one’s lack of belief, or otherwise say anything deemed offensive by religious authorities is enough to brand one a criminal. If victims are lucky, they might live in purportedly “lenient” countries and get off with a fine and a brief prison sentence. If they are unlucky, they may live in one of the roughly dozen countries in which either blasphemy or apostasy (leaving Islam) is a capital offense. That is, if violent fundamentalist militants don’t find them before the state does.
But even outside the Muslim world, intolerance for those who speak freely about Islamic doctrine is endemic. While apostates can be put to physical death in several Muslim-majority countries, they can face social death in the West, frequently cut off from friends and family and even sometimes subject to abuse.
Arab Atheists Magazine: A False Reversion
Number of Iranian executions this year surpasses 500
Pakistan: Sectarian violence…
Pakistan: Yet another blasphemy killing…
Blasphemy charge in Mauritania
Pakistan: another life sentence
Another Qur’an burning in Sweden
As Muslim-American parents protest “LGBT-inclusive” materials in schools, and with the majority-Muslim council of Hamtramck, Michigan having recently banned the display of the LGBT Pride flag on public buildings, liberals are feeling a “sense of betrayal” that a minority group they have championed throughout the years has come out in opposition to Pride.
Pakistani government closes in on new blasphemy crackdown measures