Tags: Freedom of Expression

A duty to mock

A duty to mock

Posted: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 by Manfredi La Manna

Manfredi La Manna argues that the response to the Charlie Hebdo murders has exposed unpalatable truths in both the conservative and progressive camps.

The latest cack-handed intervention by the Pope, exempting religions from the list of acceptable targets for... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Posted: Thu, 12 Feb 2015 by Gita Sahgal

Gita Sahgal argues that opposing religious fundamentalism is not a distraction from 'real' politics - the demands of social justice and civil liberties - but a pre-condition for achieving them.

The conference on Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism on February... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Secularism

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

BBC Panorama, “the battle for British Islam” and the nonsense of “peaceful” or “violent” Muslims

Posted: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 by Benjamin Jones

NSS communications officer Benjamin Jones argues that the problem of Islamism is obscured by politicians and others simplistically categorising Muslims as either 'peaceful' or 'violent'.

On 12 January, BBC Panorama featured British Muslims campaigning for a... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Secularism

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Charlie Hebdo Editorial: Je Suis Charlie Means Je Suis Secularism

Posted: Thu, 15 Jan 2015 by Admin

This is a translation of the editorial from the first Charlie Hebdo published since the Paris attacks. It is reproduced here in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

For a week now, Charlie, an atheist magazine, has accomplished more miracles than all the saints and... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam, Secularism

British media fails the free speech test

British media fails the free speech test

Posted: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 by Sadikur Rahman

The British print and media press's response to the Charlie Hebdo attack has involved victim blaming, obfuscation and self-censorship, argues Sadikur Rahman.

If there was ever a time when the British print and media press should have shown courage and strength... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

NSS statement following Charlie Hebdo attack

Posted: Wed, 07 Jan 2015 by Terry Sanderson

Restrictions on criticising or satirising religion, especially Islam, have hugely increased since Salman Rushdie was burned in effigy and driven into hiding over The Satanic Verses in 1988. That he was reviled and those attempting his murder not even charged... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Terry Sanderson’s speech to the Religious Freedom Conference, Chatham

Posted: Tue, 24 Jun 2014 by Terry Sanderson

On 21 June 2014, NSS President Terry Sanderson spoke at the Chatham Unitarian Church, about the importance of equalities protections and secularism to religious freedom. This is a transcript of his speech.

The first problem I have is with a definition of "religious... Read More »

Tags: Discrimination, Equality & Human Rights, Freedom of Expression

Publish and be damned

Publish and be damned

Posted: Sat, 08 Feb 2014 by Abhishek Phandis

The media's refusal to show the Jesus & Mo cartoon emboldens professional offense takers at the expense of inoffensive satirists –and seriously undermines the principle of free expression, argues Abhishek Phadnis.

The Danish scholar Jytte Klausen's... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

What is the freedom of expression if not the freedom of the heretic who thinks differently?

What is the freedom of expression if not the freedom of the heretic who thinks differently?

Posted: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 by Abhishek Phandis

"The right of each person to dress … as they choose has been at the core of the cohesion of our multicultural society"
– Jay Stoll, General Secretary, LSE Students' Union, September 18, 2013

"The SU asked the students to cover the t-shirts in... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Islamic apostasy laws — a big disgrace in the 21st Century

Islamic apostasy laws — a big disgrace in the 21st Century

Posted: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 by Nahla Mahmoud

It is absolutely ridiculous in the twenty-first century to have laws where one could be criminalised and punished for thinking differently or expressing an opinion. Just this year, Kuwait jailed Abdel Aziz Mohamed Albaz for criticizing Islam, Tunisian artist... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Free speech?

Free speech?

Posted: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 by Calum Grant

The controversy arising from Rowan Atkinson's comic relief sketch back in March, in which he poked fun at the newly anointed Archbishop of Canterbury, has this month been cleared of breaking any broadcasting guidelines by Ofcom. However, it is a stark reminder... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

These imbecilic riots must serve to reinforce our commitment to freedom

These imbecilic riots must serve to reinforce our commitment to freedom

Posted: Mon, 17 Sep 2012 by Terry Sanderson

It is estimated that throughout the Muslim world something like ten to twenty thousand people have taken part in the rampages that have dominated the headlines for a week.

That is 20,000 people out of a world Muslim population of a billion.

On the basis of the... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam

Leave Citizen Khan alone! Po-faced, humourless Muslim protestors are their own worst enemy

Leave Citizen Khan alone! Po-faced, humourless Muslim protestors are their own worst enemy

Posted: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The new BBC sitcom Citizen Khan has, apparently, created something of a stir among Muslims. The BBC is reporting having received more than 200 complaints about its portrayal of the "Muslim Community", claiming it is disrespectful of Islam and full of stereotypes.... Read More »

Tags: BBC, Community Cohesion, Freedom of Expression, Islam, Multiculturalism

Springtime for defamation of religion

Springtime for defamation of religion

Posted: Thu, 16 Aug 2012 by Robert C. Blitt

By Robert C. Blitt

The US Department of State and numerous human rights organizations have prematurely heralded the end of attempts to entrench an international norm prohibiting blasphemy at the UN. In 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) celebrated what it labelled... Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Defamation of Religion, Freedom of Expression, Islam, United Nations

Springtime for defamation of religion

Springtime for defamation of religion

Posted: Thu, 16 Aug 2012 by Robert C. Blitt

The US Department of State and numerous human rights organizations have prematurely heralded the end of attempts to entrench an international norm prohibiting blasphemy at the UN. In 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) celebrated what it labelled the implicit rejection... Read More »

Tags: Blasphemy, Defamation of Religion, Freedom of Expression, Islam, United Nations

Has the BBC Trust killed vigorous debate about religion on our national broadcaster?

Has the BBC Trust killed vigorous debate about religion on our national broadcaster?

Posted: Wed, 01 Aug 2012 by Terry Sanderson

The BBC Trust – which advertises itself as the "final arbiter in complaints to the BBC" — has upheld a complaint this week against Jeremy Paxman, saying that there was no clear editorial purpose to Paxman's comments — made during an interview... Read More »

Tags: BBC, Freedom of Expression

It’s time to restore free speech – no-one has the right not to be offended.

It’s time to restore free speech – no-one has the right not to be offended.

Posted: Wed, 04 Jul 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

Today, Lord Mawhinney is tabling an amendment in the House of Lords to remove the word "insulting" from Section 5 of the Public Order Act. It's one of those catchall provisions with a very low prosecution threshold that tarnishes our reputation for freedom... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Public Order Act

A message from Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute

A message from Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society and Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute

Posted: Wed, 23 May 2012 by Keith Porteous Wood

A week ago we launched Reform Section 5 with a press conference in the House of Commons. The reaction was exactly what we hoped for: within hours everyone was talking about how ridiculous it is to outlaw insults.

The biggest problem we had was finding anyone... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression

Advertising watchdog threatens to martyr Archbishop Cranmer all over again

Advertising watchdog threatens to martyr Archbishop Cranmer all over again

Posted: Mon, 14 May 2012 by National Secular Society

The rather eccentric Christian blogger Archbishop Cranmer is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority after he reproduced an advertisement from the group "Coalition for Marriage" which is seeking to thwart the Government's plans to legalise... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Marriage Equality

Bishops, too, are entitled to unpleasant opinions

Bishops, too, are entitled to unpleasant opinions

Posted: Mon, 06 Feb 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A humanist politician in Ireland is trying to prosecute a Catholic Bishop for hate speech. Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan complained to the police about a homily delivered by the Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, at the Knock shrine, saying that it... Read More »

Tags: Bishops, Freedom of Expression

Misguided liberals are playing us all into the hands of the Islamist tyrants

Misguided liberals are playing us all into the hands of the Islamist tyrants

Posted: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 by Terry Sanderson

A recent letter to The Guardian stated that 'over the past decade, a number of academic studies have indicated a worrying and disproportionate trend towards negative, distorted and even fabricated reports in media coverage of the Muslim community'. It called... Read More »

Tags: Freedom of Expression, Islam