blasphemy laws

Wanna Defeat Violent Extremism? Then Protect Free Speech

The scourge of violent extremism proliferates in an atmosphere of discursive suffocation. Islamist radicals and extremists enjoy a monopoly over religious discourse. We will not really succeed in confronting this menace until we break up this monopoly. The key to doing so involves protecting free speech.

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National Identity Versus Religious Identity in Pakistan

By Minhas Majeed Khan

The creation of Pakistan in 1947 brought hopes not only to Muslims but also to religious minorities. The founding father, Quaid–e–Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, envisioned a state that represents all communities in policy making. For Jinnah the spirit of nationhood [National Identity] was to live in unity, that is, each individual ceasing their faiths whether Hindu, Christian, Sikh or Muslim. Not in a religious sense, because that is their personal faith [Religious Identity], but in a political sense as the citizen of the state [National identity]. Unfortunately, after his death, his predecessors deviated from the ideology he defined.

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Tolerating Blasphemy: Lessons From An Indonesian Election

By Paul Marshall

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, has for months been roiled by a chaotic election that has dominated the headlines. The uproar does not even stem from a national election but one for the Governorship of the capital city, Jakarta.

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Three Ways the 45th President Can Advance International Religious Freedom

By Travis Wussow and Matthew Hawkins

While both candidates have talked in vague terms about combatting the Islamic State, neither has enunciated a vision for promoting religious freedom as a common good that is severely deficient across the world. This need not be the case. Here are three ways the 45th president can leverage existing resources to advance this strategic value as an essential part of American foreign policy

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Blasphemy in an Egyptian Village: The Case of Kafr Darwish

By: Matthew Anderson

While global media coverage typically concentrates on high-profile blasphemy incidents, such as the controversy surrounding the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005 or the murderous attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo this year, sensitivities around blasphemy play a more systemic role in several Muslim-majority countries. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, to name three of the most prominent, have enacted draconian laws criminalizing blasphemy and other speech deemed derogatory toward Islam. 

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