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freedom of expression

8 ‘blasphemous’ books banned for offending believers

By Brian Pellot — September 29, 2015

The Bible and Fifty Shades of Grey share more than a few raunchy sex scenes. On Banned Books Week and International Blasphemy Rights Day, these eight titles are still too hot to handle.

The UAE’s new anti-discrimination law is a wolf in sheep’s clothing

By Brian Pellot — July 21, 2015

Anti-discrimination laws should protect people. The United Arab Emirates’ new law, issued by royal decree, criminalizes the criticism of religions and ideas. It should be scrapped.

United against violence in the name of religion…up to a point

By Brian Pellot — July 20, 2015

If freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are mutually reinforcing rights, why are we still arguing over the rules of engagement and sidelining key stakeholders?

Gay marriage * Ramadan deaths * Abortion drone: June’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — July 2, 2015

America remains buried under three feet of glitter. More than 1,000 people have died during a Ramadan heatwave in Karachi. And an “abortion drone” was spotted dropping pills over conservative Poland. Read on.

Non-banned ‘banned’ books and Malaysia’s unjust Islamic justice system

By Brian Pellot — March 20, 2015

In May 2012, Malaysia’s religious authorities raided a bookstore and confiscated “Allah, Liberty and Love.” A store manager was charged for selling the “banned” book, which was only banned six days after the raid. Three years later and she’s still being hounded.

After Myanmar’s ‘Buddha headphones’ conviction, the worst may be yet to come

By Brian Pellot — March 18, 2015

Jail time and hard labor for sharing an image of the Buddha wearing headphones is a shocking violation of free speech. In Myanmar, I’m far from shocked.

Anti-Semitism * Anti-sex * Anti-women: February’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — March 2, 2015

Cold, short February was jam-packed with some mega atrocities on the religious freedom front. Count your lucky stars it’s March, and hope for a better month ahead.

Brittany Maynard dies * ISIS crucifies teen * Sneaky bat mitzvah: October’s Religious Freedom Recap

By Brian Pellot — November 3, 2014

Brittany Maynard ends her life. ISIS fighters crucify a Syrian teen for taking photos. And Women of the Wall host a sneaky bat mitzvah in Jerusalem. This and more in this month’s recap.

The road to sedition: Malaysia and Myanmar crackdown on dissent

By Brian Pellot — October 21, 2014

On my (lack of) freedom trail across Asia, fresh sedition and defamation charges are pressuring journalists and activists to self-censor government criticism or face hefty consequences.

On International Blasphemy Rights Day, I stand with Raif Badawi and against Saudi Arabia

By Brian Pellot — September 30, 2014

Last year a Saudi court convicted Raif Badawi of “insulting Islam” for setting up a website to foster open discussion of religion. He now faces 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. Badawi is one of many victims of victimless thought crimes who need our support.

A right not to be offended? Atheists say ‘No thanks’

By Brian Pellot — August 12, 2014

The World Humanist Congress adopted a declaration Sunday proclaiming, “There is no right not to be offended, or not to hear contrary opinions.” Yet nearly 100 countries have laws banning blasphemy, apostasy and defamation of religion.

Oxford Declaration on Freedom of Thought and Expression (full text)

By Brian Pellot — August 12, 2014

Posting this in full now. I’ll comment in a subsequent post. The Oxford Declaration on Freedom of Thought and Expression The 2014 World Humanist Congress, gathered in Oxford, UK, on 8-10 August 2014, adopted the following declaration on freedom of thought and expression: All around the world and at all times, it is freedom of […]

Richard Dawkins keeps digging on ‘mild’ date rape and pedophilia

By Brian Pellot — August 11, 2014

Richard Dawkins told the World Humanist Congress in Oxford that “mild pedophilia” is not as bad as “something that would scar you for life.” Attempting to use logic and reason to rank others’ emotional scars — now that’s irrational.

No solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will tear down the region’s gender walls

By Brian Pellot — June 5, 2014

Gender walls, both literal and figurative, are so entrenched in the Levant that no solution to the region’s geopolitical conflicts, no matter how miraculous, will be enough to tear them down.

What the European Union’s new freedom of expression guidelines say about religion

By Brian Pellot — May 15, 2014

New EU freedom of expression guidelines address attacks on journalists, whistleblower protection, media plurality and citizen privacy, but they also touch on opinion and belief. Here’s how the guidelines handle religion, blasphemy and hypocrisy.

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