In support of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers, I am republishing my contribution to the OSCE human rights meeting in Warsaw Poland in October 2012 on protecting the human rights of atheists and ending blasphemy laws internationally.
The relevant section, which starts at 0:43, reads:
Our second recommendation is that the OSCE should strongly oppose all blasphemy laws.
The European Union and the Islamic States have recently insisted, in a joint statement, that we respect all religions and all prophets.
Respecting all prophets would mean respecting not only the prophets of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, but also respecting David Koresh at Waco, and David Icke who believes that George Bush is a space lizard.
This is clearly absurd. We can respect your right to believe, while not respecting the content of your beliefs. You have rights. Your beliefs do not. That is the essence of freedom of conscience.
I do not respect any belief about reality that is not based on sufficient evidence, and I do not respect any belief about morality that oppresses women, or gay people or other minorities.
Unsurprisingly, this recent EU statement has resulted in the Islamic States at the UN reintroducing their attempts to make blasphemy a crime internationally. The OSCE and all civilised states should oppose this attempt to move us backwards in terms of freedom of conscience.