Pakistani Woman Charged with ‘Blasphemy’ for Refusing Islam

Pakistan A young mother has been falsely accused of “blaspheming” Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, because she rebuffed attempts by relatives who had converted to Islam to force her to renounce her Christian faith, family members said.

Speaking ill of Muhammad in Pakistan is punishable by life imprisonment or death under Pakistan’s internationally condemned blasphemy laws.

BBC director general admits Christianity gets tougher treatment than Islam, other religions

BBC The BBC director general Mark Thompson has claimed that Christianity is treated with less sensitivity than other religions because it is “pretty broad shoulders”.

He suggested other faiths had “very close identity with ethnic minorities” and as a result were covered in a more careful way by broadcasters.

When blasphemy is a crime

The United Nations General Assembly may soon vote — not for the first time — in favor of a resolution opposing the “defamation of religions.” The idea, which may sound appealing at first blush, is particularly championed by Islamic countries, which would like to go even further and have the condemnation enshrined in international law.

But a new report by Freedom House, a Washington-based human rights organization, demonstrates how such policies have too often been used by countries to suppress freedom of speech and freedom of religion, leading to serious human rights abuses.

See also: Free Speech and Radical Islam

Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Life under ‘Blasphemy’ Law

Pakistan A young Christian shopkeeper was sentenced to a life term in prison and fined more than $1,000 last week following a dubious conviction of desecrating the Quran, according to Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace.

A conviction for blaspheming Muhammad (Section 295-C) is punishable by death under Pakistani’s notorious blasphemy laws. Widely condemned by the international community as easily invoked to settle personal enmities, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have come under review in recent months, but to no avail.

Taking aim at God on ‘Blasphemy Day’

Blasphemy Day Outraged by nations that want to execute blasphemers and propelled by a deep belief in the freedom of expression, Lindsay is forging ahead with his “nothing is sacred” movement.

Wednesday marks the first organized observance of Blasphemy Day, a series of events, exhibits and lectures unfolding in a host of mostly North American cities that are part of a larger Campaign for Free Expression.

Islamist Lawyer Threatens to Kill Pakistani Charged with Blasphemy

Pakistan A Pakistani Christian charged with abetting blasphemy against Islam was denied bail for his own safety last week after an Islamist lawyer allegedly threatened his life in a court hearing.

Insulting Islam is a dangerous activity in the conservative nation of 170 million, but with the spread of the Taliban, non-Muslims fear their very existence will make them a target to fundamentalists.

Blasphemy law ditched by the Dutch

Netherlands flag A controversial anti-blasphemy law is being scrapped by the Dutch government.

In scrapping the law the cabinet is meeting the demand of parliament where a majority of parties argued that offering religious groups an extra layer of legal protection is outdated.

As an alternative the cabinet is now seeking to strengthen anti-discrimination laws against groups whatever their background, thus taking the religious component out of the equation.

Judge throws out Jerry Springer – The Opera blasphemy charge

Two judges ruled it was reasonable to conclude that the play “in context” could not be considered as blasphemous.

British Church leaders in Jerry Springer row

A city vicar has defended the Theatre Royal Norwich’s controversial decision to stage a production of Jerry Springer The Opera, but other church leaders have blasted the decision. The West End show, which has sparked outrage among some people in the Christian community in the UK, is on national tour and will be at Norwich’s […]

Jerry Springer opera tour goes on despite prosecution threat

Theatres across Britain have united in defiance against a threat of prosecution from an evangelical Christian group to save the national tour of the controversial musical Jerry Springer the Opera. Christian Voice, which organised street vigils on the evening of the BBC broadcast of the opera in January, successfully petitioned to have Arts Council funding […]

Christians to sue BBC over Springer show ‘blasphemy’

Security has been stepped up at the London theatre staging Jerry Springer: the Opera as the controversy over the BBC’s decision to broadcast the production intensified yesterday. The move came as Christian Voice, a lobby group that spearheaded a wave of protests against the corporation, announced plans to launch a blasphemy action against the BBC […]
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