“establish September 30th as a day to promote free speech and to stand up in a show of solidarity for the freedom to challenge, criticize, and satirize religion without fear of murder, litigation, or reprisal. The event was created as a reaction against those who would seek to take away the right to satirize and criticize a particular set of beliefs that have been given a privileged status over other beliefs”
In the wake of the Dutch newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishing cartoons of Mohammad on this day in 2005, and the uproar and rioting from the Muslim world that followed, the UN chose take a stance against free speech. A resolution banning criticism of religion was proposed, which would remove people’s rights to question and critique those things with which they don’t agree. Questioning someone’s belief in God, religious practices or beliefs, should be no different to criticising which football team they support, or which political party they voted for in the last election.
Of the triangle of traditional dinner party taboo topics (religion, sex, politics), religion is probably the only one that legitimately persists. Amongst a dinner party of my own friends, there would be no qualms discussing sexual or political topics, or going so far as to make jokes about someone’s sexual preferences or political leanings. But religion is a topic that would not be broached, and I have even been chastised by a friend for making a (very tame) religious joke/observation.
We live in a world where punishments for blasphemy range from fines to lengthy prison sentences, particularly in the Middle East. Thankfully, here in Australia no blasphemy laws are enforced. So get out there and blaspheme for Christ’s sake!
For more information on International Blasphemy day, visit: