Many people are being killed and injured again due to blasphemy demonstrations. Pakistan
There were only eight cases of blasphemy during authoritarian leader Suharto’s 32-year rule, including one in which a tabloid editor was jailed for five years for publishing a popularity poll that put the Prophet Mohammad in eleventh place.
But Human Rights Watch records 106 cases alone during the decade-long presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose efforts to curry favour with conservative religious leaders is now widely blamed for the growing intolerance in Indonesian society.
Even now, blasphemy remains in the government-proposed draft of the revised criminal code. It is still being deliberated in parliament, although it has now been moved from “crimes against public order” to “crimes against religion”.
It is one of the old statutes considered effectively defunct in Scotland but still technically on the statute books.
The UK is like that. Rumour is that the Duke of Westminster can still legally herd sheep over London Bridge, but I wouldn't advise him to try it. These laws need to be abolished and religionists educated that non-believers and believers of other faiths are not bound by the religionist's rules (much less by their society's or extemist's dogma, such as in Pakistan).
Every religionist should be able to accept that an individual cannot "blaspheme against" a religion to which they don't subscribe. That seems necessary for peace on Earth. It is certainly essential to freedom of speech and expression.
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