Vexen Crabtree (vexen) wrote,
Vexen Crabtree

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United Kingdom's Blasphemy Laws

After a look at recent cases and the history of the UKs blasphemy laws, the conclusion reads:

"Unused for decades, the UKs blasphemy laws have come to the fore since 1979. Blasphemy laws are invoked when closed-minded religious bigots want to stifle the free speech of others.

The blasphemy laws are used to stifle artistic expression and free speech, such as in R. v Lemon 1979 when a poem about Jesus was published in a gay magazine. In Pakistan they are used to, for example, block any scholarly discussion of any aspect of Muhammad's life [Watt, 1989, p32]. The publications in question are not personal insults or hateful literature; they are not professional or political, they are largely expressive, emotional or scholarly. That blasphemy laws are used in such a way - to protect concepts from being questioned - is not only wrong and closed-minded, but undemocratic.

The final straw is that the UKs blasphemy laws only protect Christians - not Muslims or Jews - and historically only the Church of England. It is deeply prejudice, intolerable and confusing that we still have such laws. Thankfully the European Courts, British legal community, Lobby groups and British politicians have spoken out against the blasphemy laws. We should all make a big of it when it is annulled, as the blasphemy laws are one last legal pillar of Christian intolerance and bigotry."
Tags: blasphemy, uk
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