IHEU: Help Humanists Fight Blasphemy Laws
If the Organization of the Islamic Conference has its way, the UN will impose a global blasphemy law under the guise of combating “defamation of religions.”
Defined as disrespecting God, blasphemy may seem to be the ultimate victimless crime. But all too often the real victims of blasphemy laws are Humanists who dare to speak out. Just ask Dr. Younus Shaikh, the Humanist leader in Pakistan who spent more than three years on death row after being charged with blasphemy in 2000. Or Dr. Taslima Nasrin, the Humanist writer from Bangladesh who listened to a mob of 300,000 people demand that she be hanged for blasphemy. In response, her government issued an arrest warrant against her for “hurting religious feelings.”
In both cases, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) successfully campaigned to save the lives of these courageous Humanists. Yet both must still live in hiding, fearing for their lives, even in the West.
“Even in the West.” It’s a phrase I find myself using a lot these days to puncture a certain complacency among Humanists confident that secular progress will take care of itself. Progress never happens unless we work for it.