Anti-blasphemy legislation still exists in many countries around the world, including those dominated not only by Islam but also by Christianity. You’d be surprised at how many countries have blasphemy laws, even supposedly civilized “Western” nations!
Americans, count yourselves lucky to have the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and do NOT take it for granted! Note also that there are continual attempts by Islamic countries to pass “blasphemy resolutions” at the United Nations, such that even Americans would lose their ability to speak out against religious oppression.
It is significantly because of these oppressive laws and mentalities that many people globally are terrified of criticizing anti-human, hateful, bigoted, misogynistic and violent religious ideologies. We must strive to remove all such inhumane and barbaric legislation, including disempowering those who enact and uphold it.
Please sign our blasphemy petition!
Note that the following lists are not exhaustive and that some of the categories and countries overlap with each other.
Countries with the death penalty for blasphemy
This category includes those nations that enact capital punishment for “atheism” and/or the rejection of Islam.
United Arab Emirates
There are likely others, and there are constant pushes in other Muslim-dominant countries like Bangladesh to enact the sharia-based death penalty for blasphemy against Islam.
In some countries, such as Nigeria, vigilantes enact the death penalty according to sharia. Countries with the death penalty also provide lesser punishments, depending on the case, including imprisonment and physical punishment such as lashings.
Countries with prison time for blasphemy
In addition to those with lesser punishments in the list above are others that prescribe prison for blasphemy.
New Zealand punishes for “blasphemous libel,” while libel laws are also common in other countries as well.
Countries with fines for blasphemy
Some of the countries in the above lists, such as Italy, Jordan, Malaysia and Holland, also impose fines, either in addition to or instead of death or imprisonment.
Norway (last used in 1912)
Countries that punish “religious insults” and “hate speech”
Many of the above countries, such as Turkey, include these categories along with “blasphemy.” Punishments for this category include prison and/or fines.
Countries that punish religions and cults for proselytizing
The other end of the spectrum finds a number of nations limiting the freedoms of religionists to proselytize their religion, sect or cult. The former USSR and China are among the most notorious.
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Petition to Abolish Blasphemy Laws
Many Western countries have them too! Blasphemy laws around the world http://t.co/59joK68lHc #blasphemy #atheism #islam #apostasy
— Religion and History (@AcharyaS) January 17, 2014