Since our founding in 1866 we've campaigned for freedom of speech, regardless of the objections of any religion. We finally succeeded in abolishing the vestigial blasphemy laws in England and Wales in 2008, but the threat to our freedom of expression hasn't ended.
What’s the problem?
While in the UK the law is fairer now, free speech is still threatened. One of the major concerns we have is over 'backdoor' blasphemy laws which conflate hate speech and criticism of religion, making satire, criticism or mockery a criminal act akin to racial hatred or inciting violence.
Attitudes to free expression among young, university-educated Britons is also concerning, with significant numbers willing to erode the right to freedom of expression where religion is concerned.
Around the world blasphemy laws continue to be used to target religious and political minorities, particularly in Islamic theocracies. These are sometimes described as 'misuse of blasphemy laws', but the NSS contends that there are never any legitimate uses for blasphemy laws.
What we are doing
- We were instrumental in the repeal of blasphemy laws in England and Wales in 2008, and continue to campaign against blasphemy laws around the world, including 'backdoor' blasphemy codes that restrict the criticism or mockery of religion.
- We support the Irish government's October referendum on removing blasphemy as an offence from its constitution and have called for the Scottish government to repeal its own blasphemy laws.
What you can do:
Watch this space
There aren't any specific campaign actions to highlight at the moment. Please check back soon.
Support for the International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws
The NSS is an affiliated coalition partner of the International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws
While you're here
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