Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”

March 1, 2012

Published by the non-governmental organization Human Rights First, Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions" critically evaluates the effects blasphemy laws have on religious freedom and the social landscape of a country. By providing numerous cases from countries around the world, namely in the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, the report asserts that there are four specific consequences that accompany blasphemy laws: stifled discussion and dissent in the public square; outbreaks of mob violence; violation of freedoms of religion, thought, or belief; and the misuse of the laws to serve as weapons in private disputes.

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