Blasphemy and Other “Hate Speech”

Sep 29, 2017

By Ronald A. Lindsay

You have International Blasphemy Rights Day (IBRD) on your calendar, right? It’s only a couple of days from now—September 30—in case for some bizarre reason you forgot.

The Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit organization of which I was formerly the president, launched IBRD in 2009 in part to draw attention to the fact that criticism of religious beliefs is prohibited through legal sanctions or social pressure in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, although there is now a formal campaign to end blasphemy laws, and this campaign has met with some success in Western countries—Demark abolished its centuries-old blasphemy law in June—many countries, especially those with majority Muslim populations, still retain laws that impose harsh penalties for blasphemy. Pakistan, to cite just one such country, continues to have a number of blasphemy cases each year, often targeting religious minorities and sometimes resulting in death sentences.

Even when blasphemy laws are not enforced by the state, the underlying mentality that supports such laws often results in social pressure to refrain from questioning majoritarian religious views. This pressure can take the form of homicidal violence from those outraged by the questioning of their beliefs. Consider, for example, the several Bangladeshi bloggers who have been hacked to death by religious extremists over the last few years.

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5 comments on “Blasphemy and Other “Hate Speech”

  • Remove all hate speech legislation. Replace it with properly policed and fiercely enforced incitement to violence speech legislation, a much clearer and testable offence that more nearly frames a rational crime.

    Sorry SJWs. Offence allowed. But nothing that may lead others to violence.

    Children, however, get far stricter rules around bullying, etc..



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  • Children, however, get far stricter rules around bullying, etc..

    Religious education beware. Indoctrination is a profound issue with children, because of the phenomenon of over imitation. This is where hate speech regulations are meant to be, not in adult environments. We must start from the position that no person can be taken as hateful for a label they may have had no part in acquiring. Hate is taught in too many religious schools.

    Grown ups, however, in grown up society, must assume more responsibility for themselves and their identities.



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  • phil rimmer #2
    Oct 2, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Grown ups, however, in grown up society, must assume more responsibility for themselves and their identities.

    The problem occurs largely in the adults, whose indoctrination has handicapped their thinking, and left them with immature minds which need a father-figure to tell them what to do!

    They really DON’T want the responsibility of thinking for themselves, and would much rather some imaginary “forgiving parent”, took responsibility for THEIR mistakes and reckless decisions!
    The aspiring manipulative charlatans and power-seekers, have a large vested interest in maintaining substantial, easily led numbers of these irrational mental cripples, in the populations they seek to control!



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  • Alan

    The adults are causing problems for sure but that indoctrination starts from the youngest members of religious organizations. I have no idea what is told to young Jews about feelings about others but with Muslims and Christians the hate is programmed right into the kids along with the stupid holy book stories.

    In the Methodist church I was exposed to plenty of statements and facial expressions that made clear what Protestants think about Catholics. Some of the statements made for my benefit included -“They’re so brainwashed” and “look how many kids they have, those women are completely brainwashed.” “Jesus would hate those big gaudy churches, so tacky”. “Idol worshippers” “Those Priests are fags” and all of this said with eye rolling and condescension so thick you could cut it with a knife.

    The Protestants and the Muslims also play heavily on their extreme victimhood. All historical events are explained in a VERY one sided version.

    By the time these kids hit twenty years old I don’t know how they can see clear of the mental fog. It’s all they know. The only idea I have to neutralize this effect is for the public schools to present anti-tribalism super ethical ideological warfare. Let’s call it Age of Aquarius class. Can I teach the class please? (No qualifications whatsoever)



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  • @OP – Even when blasphemy laws are not enforced by the state, the underlying mentality that supports such laws often results in social pressure to refrain from questioning majoritarian religious views. This pressure can take the form of homicidal violence from those outraged by the questioning of their beliefs.

    It seems that homicidal and other violence is closely associated with religious beliefs “deemed to be beyond criticism”!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41637383

    The Egyptian capital Cairo has been described as the “most dangerous” megacity for women.

    The finding comes from the first international poll on how women fare in cities with over 10 million people.

    The survey was conducted in 19 megacities where experts on women’s issues were asked about how well women were protected from sexual violence.

    The poll ranked London as the megacity most friendly to women, followed by Tokyo and Paris.

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan said women were now leading in every level of society in London, including public service, the arts, business and politics.

    Women’s rights campaigners in Cairo blame centuries-old traditions for the discrimination there, with any progressive steps to help women extremely difficult.

    Women also have limited access to good healthcare, finance and education.

    Shahira Amin, a high profile Egyptian journalist, said everything about the city was difficult for women, and even something as simple as walking down the street could expose a woman to harassment and abuse of all kinds.

    Karachi, Pakistan, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Indian capital Delhi come behind Cairo in the survey, conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Delhi and the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo were reported to be the worst for risk of sexual harassment, sexual violence and rape.

    The figures for Delhi come despite tougher laws on sex crimes after a fatal gang rape of a woman on a bus in Delhi in 2012 which led to popular protests.



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