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Blasphemy
The right to blaspheme is fundamental—and it’s under attack.
Blasphemy
The right to blaspheme is fundamental—and it’s under attack. In as many as 33 Muslim-majority countries today, most of which have Islam as their state religion, daring simply to speak out against religious customs, express one’s lack of belief, or otherwise say anything deemed offensive by religious authorities is enough to brand one a criminal. If victims are lucky, they might live in purportedly “lenient” countries and get off with a fine and a brief prison sentence. If they are unlucky, they may live in one of the roughly dozen countries in which either blasphemy or apostasy (leaving Islam) is a capital offense. That is, if violent fundamentalist militants don’t find them before the state does. But even outside the Muslim world, intolerance for those who speak freely about Islamic doctrine is endemic. While apostates can be put to physical death in several Muslim-majority countries, they can face social death in the West, frequently cut off from friends and family and even sometimes subject to abuse.
what you need to know
12
Muslim-majority countries where blasphemy or apostasy is punishable by death
37
Muslim-majority countries criminalizing blasphemy or apostasy
363
Cases of blasphemy-related persecution cataloged in our Persecution Tracker
how we address this issue
what we advocate for
Ex-Muslims of North America advocates for the following policy actions in defense of the right to blaspheme:
All blasphemy laws, no matter how punitive or lax, must be abolished.
In countries where this is not the case, religious belief—and particularly lack thereof—must be granted protected legal status.
States which cast themselves as explicitly Islamic must secularize.
If you want to help us continue this work toward a world free of religious oppression, please donate today—as it’s only with the aid of people like you that we can continue to do what we do.
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