Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy International Blasphemy Rights Day!



Today is International Blasphemy Rights Day. In the United States, our speech is protected, and this allows us to say whatever we wish about religious figures, doctrines, holy books and the like. Here is a list of some of the countries that not only disregard this freedom to blaspheme, but often punish blasphemers, sometimes by execution.

via Wikipedia:

Afganistan
Algeria
Austria
Bangladesh
Brazil
Egypt
Finland
Germany
Greece
India
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Malaysia
Malta
Netherlands
Nigeria
Pakistan
Poland
Russia (lawmakers are considering anti-blasphemy legislation)
Saudi Arabia
Spain
Sudan
Switzerland
United Arab Emirates
Yemen

The severity of punishments for blasphemy vary from country to country, and there are several countries that I did not list that still have anti-blasphemy laws on the books, but realistically don't prosecute offenders (Canada, Australia, and some local jurisdictions in the USA). There are also several countries that just recently repealed these sorts of laws.

Today's "holiday" is not an excuse to offend people, but a day to promote freedom while raising awareness about oppressive legislation. Be glad of your freedom, and don't take it for granted.
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