Blasphemy Laws in Muslim Majority Countries
The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Summer 2011
9 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2011
Date Written: May 6, 2011
In Pakistan, courts use blasphemy laws to bully religious minorities, as well as Muslims, and to justify broad censorship on speech. In Indonesia, officials impose criminal penalties on the Ahmadiyya and other groups whose teachings are deemed deviant from the state-sanctioned religions. In Egypt, officials use blasphemy laws to prevent conversions, inhibit proselytism, and silence critics. Such laws appease rather than control violent extremists and create a culture of impunity, where increasingly egregious crimes are committed with little or no consequences for the perpetrators. The United Nations Defamation of Religions Resolution similarly empowers states to limit religious expression and works counter to the rule of law. This paper discusses the blasphemy laws of Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt as well as the UN Defamation of Religion Resolution and reasons behind efforts which have been made to repeal both the laws and the resolution.
Keywords: Blasphemy, Muslim, Religious Freedom
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation