Friday, 30 January 2015. A new international campaign has been launched aimed at abolishing "blasphemy laws" worldwide. The End Blasphemy Laws campaign is thought to be the first campaign focusing solely on the issue of laws against "blasphemy" including "ridicule" and "insult" to religion or "hurting religious sentiments".
The coalition behind the campaign, led by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and the European Humanist Federation (EHF) and numerous coalition partners, currently represents around 200 Humanist and secular organizations globally, and is open to all groups who oppose "blasphemy" laws, including religious and secular communities, human rights groups, and all advocates of freedom of expression.
1. We are an international coalition of organizations committed to removing blasphemy laws wherever they exist.
2. We will:
(a) Provide public education regarding blasphemy laws around the world.
(b) Advocate on behalf of victims of blasphemy laws.
(c) Lobby governments to act on expert legal opinions, which consistently recommend that these laws be repealed or abolished.
3. We defend people's right to discuss, criticize and ridicule ideas and beliefs, even when this offends other people. Humans have rights—beliefs do not.
4. With regard to freedom of speech laws which are aimed at protecting people rather than ideas, members of the coalition may have different approaches or policies.
5. We argue that blasphemy laws are harmful:
(a) They violate freedom of expression and deny equality.
(b) Actively enforced blasphemy laws infringe on and violate human rights around the world.
(c) Passive blasphemy laws reinforce active blasphemy laws.
(d) They have been repudiated by international law and governance bodies.
(e) Blasphemy laws are sometimes hidden under other language.