Petition to the UN to protect freedom from religion and barbaric blasphemy laws

Human rights over human beliefsIf you haven’t signed this petition started by Michael Sherlock to ensure freedom FROM religion and barbaric blasphemy laws, please do so and share it. Note that I edited the letter that will be delivered to the United Nations high commissioner for Human Rights, and my name is appended to it.

So far, Michael’s managed to get very prominent signers such as Richard Dawkins, Pat Condell, Frank Zindler, Ricky Gervais and Al Stefanelli. Other notables include Christians, so this isn’t just a matter of human rights for atheists and other secularists. It applies to persecuted religious minorities as well, wherever they may be.

Listen to our cooperative radio program on blasphemy laws!

“@sherlockmichael, @AcharyaS, @micknugent and @SanalEdamaraku discuss blasphemy laws and how they affect YOU. Sign the petition at humanrightsforaas.org – @1GodlessWoman gives us an update on @raif_badawi – show your support with the IStandWithRaif hashtag. This is a really important episode. Please share it across your social networks!”

Blasphemy radio programPetition to the UN to Abolish Blasphemy Laws
https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/abolish-blasphemy-laws

Petition by Human Rights For Atheists, Agnostics and Secularists

Our petition appeals to the United Nations to amend Articles 13 (b), 55 (c) & 76 (c) of the Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the International Court of Justice to include the non-religious as an expressly protected group.  In so amending, the United Nations would be sending a clear message to its member states that imprisoning, torturing, executing and otherwise molesting secularists and nonbelievers such as atheists and agnostics is incompatible with basic human rights.

If you go to the letter under the above paragraph, my name is at the bottom:

 To: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Honorable Navanethem Pillay
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Re: Freedoms and Rights for Nonreligious People Worldwide

Dear Ms. Pillay:

We the signers humbly ask you to consider both a human rights petition and concern shared by a growing number of people persecuted for non-belief in religious dogma, including millions of atheists and agnostics around the world. Both the petition and the concern regard the proposed enactment and enforcement of so-called blasphemy laws and their offshoots such as defamation of religion and religious-insult “hate speech” legislation in member states. The reality is that these blasphemy laws and “hate speech” legislation violate the cornerstone rights of freedom of expression, thought and conscience, tenuously upheld by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976), Articles 18 and 19 in particular.

Our petition, which has been linked below, appeals to the United Nations to amend Articles 13 (b), 55 (c) & 76 (c) of the Charter of the United Nations and the Statute of the International Court of Justice to include the non-religious as an expressly protected group. In so amending, the United Nations would be sending a clear message to its member states that imprisoning, torturing, executing and otherwise molesting secularists and nonbelievers such as atheists and agnostics is incompatible with basic human rights.

The primary aim of this limb of the petition is to bind member states that have refused to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976). Our petition, which now has the support of secular scientist Dr. Richard Dawkins, Ricky Gervais and other notable signatories, also aims to implore the United Nations to amend the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976) by narrowing and tempering the restrictions on freedom of expression enunciated in Articles 18 (3) and 19 (3) sub-paragraphs (a) and (b). As it presently stands, there are 13 countries around the world that execute secularists and nonbelievers such as atheists and agnostics, along with many others that prescribe imprisonment and issue fines to those who do not share the majority religious view of the state.

Advocates of blasphemy laws and their offshoots argue that these laws protect the harmony of pluralistic societies. As demonstrated by a number of conclusive studies (available upon request), however, the enforcement of blasphemy laws and their offshoots deepens divisions between religious groups and creates unnecessary civil unrest, also infringing egregiously upon the basic human right not to be forced to follow any particular religion.

Furthermore, these blasphemy laws are often utilized in a discriminatory and dictatorial manner, and have bestowed upon inhumane leaders the legal means by which these rulers are able to persecute both religious minorities and non-religious groups alike, as well as to silence political dissidents.

We thank you for your time and hope that you give this matter the attention that it deserves, on behalf of millions of human beings globally.

Sincerely,

Michael Sherlock
www.Michaelsherlock.org
www.atheistrepublic.com/blogs/michael-sherlock

D.M. Murdock
www.TruthBeKnown.com
www.FreethoughtNation.com
www.StellarHousePublishing.com
www.examiner.com/freethought-in-national/d-m-murdock

Human Rights for Atheists, Agnostics and Secularists
Email: humanrightsforaas@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HumanRightsForAtheistsAgnosticsandSecularists

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Sign the petition!

Please consider signing the petition and circulating it to your networks so that we can create a bigger groundswell of support. There are thousands of unfortunate people globally suffering right now because of these brutal and inhumane laws, such as Saudi apostate blogger Raif Badawi, who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes for his disbelief in Islam:

saudibloggerraifI sent Raif the following Tweet:

He was kind enough to follow my Twitter account immediately: raifbadawiIt’s good people like the sparkly-eyed family man Raif who suffer the most from these archaic and inhumane laws. Those of us who are protected by a Constitution like that of the United States, with its First Amendment free-speech and free-expression provision, need to help our freethinking brothers and sisters in other lands. Thank you. Frank Zindler, past president of American Atheists, comments:

What is called “blasphemy” more often than not is simply the truth about the world. People should not be punished for speaking the truth.

How’s this for a coalition of awesomeness?

Retweet by Sam Harris:

The “Atheist Muslim” weighs in.

Ex-Muslim Iranian-British activist Maryam Namazie has signed and shared our petition!

Ex-Muslim author and Islam critic Dr. Ali Sina has signed and shared our petition!

American comedienne Roseanne Barr has retweeted our petition! Roseann Barr retweet of Michael Sherlock's petition requestEx-president of the Muslim Canadian Congress Farzana Hassan has joined our effort!

Here are Ms. Hassan’s comments on the petition:

People have the absolute right to their beliefs. Abolish blasphemy laws everywhere.

Muslim Canadian Congress founder Tarek Fatah has signed onto our effort!

Dutch humanist and politician Boris van der Ham has endorsed our petition! Dutch Humanist Boris van der Ham

Further Reading

Nonbelievers face persecution in numerous countries
Blasphemy laws around the world
These maps show where you can still go to jail for apostasy or blasphemy
Human Rights for Atheists, Agnostics and Secularists
Canadian Atheist: Abolish Blasphemy Laws
Criticizing Islam Becomes ‘Incitement to Imminent Violence’
Five Buddhist monks defrocked and remanded for religious offence
Coptic teacher gets 6 months in jail for ‘insulting Islam’

31 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Dr. O. P. Sudrania

    I support this petition whole heartedly.

  2. I agree totally to stop blasphemy laws. You are welcome to blaspheme me, good luck. Respectfully yours, with warm regards, Capt. ret. Zen.

  3. Dr bernard de silva md

    All any any obstruction or impediment to free speech, free action, to point out errors in non fact bases false teachings , should be prevented
    Blasphemy laws outlawed, like sharia laws that lower human decency
    And free discussions and right to comment and criticize should be universal.

    Please take action against these laws, before another new god is created all, so called non believers eliminated.
    We can stop this movement now, before it takes back in time!

  4. I support this petition wholeheartedly….

  5. Blasphemy Law is ‘Anti-Freedom of Speech Law’ and is in fact an evil tyrannical law which must be banned by legislation in every Nation around Planet Earth.

  6. Thanks for creating this fantastic blog post.

  7. Gavin Tischendorf

    Freedom for all, equality for all.

  8. Blasphemy Law is nothing but a relic of barbarism. This must quashed and there should be adequate laws to prevent preaching superstition. Make preaching superstition a criminal offense. ‘Anti-Freedom of Speech Law’ I SUPPORT THIS PETITION>

  9. Signed yesterday. So, when Interpol shows up to arrest me at the behest of the Sultan, there will be a firefight.

  10. The United Nation’s proposed hate-blasphemy crimes law makes me speak in jest when I say the following:

    The American Heritage Dictionary defines blasphemy as: Any irreverent or impious act or utterance.” Make note: “utterance.”

    If the UN’s definition of hate includes irreverent UTTERANCES, then the UN’s only method of preventing the commission of hate crimes and blasphemy will have to be to abolish the existence of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. That’s because Christianity, Islam and Judaism each claim their God and Creed as the correct God and Creed; they commit hate and blasphemy crimes against eachother because each accuses the other of being incorrect and blasphemous. They and their congregants utter UTTERANCES against eachother: hate crimes in the first degree.

    Because accusations of incorrectness and blasphemy are irreverent utterances when referring to another religion, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have committed hate crimes and blasphemous UTTERANCES against eachother; therefore, they must be banned, abolished and punished. Once they are abolished, noone – including atheists, agnostics and secularists – will be able to commit a hate/blasphemy crime because there will be no religion to commit it against. PEACE. Finally.

    I’m not an atheist or an agnostic. I’m not a Christian, Muslim or Jew.
    I’m a European Gentile American who likes the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

  11. I support it!

  12. I hope this does make a change.

  13. I support this petition from the bottom of my heart.

  14. Hello. I have a question for you: Why must a charter of rights mention ‘religion’ at all? Why not simply ‘freedom of belief’ (and thus also disbelief)? The reason I suggest this is because ‘belief’ is indeed a personal or private matter which need not impinge on public policy. Freedom of religion, however, leads to the public sanctioning of things like circumcision (hard to imagine babies ‘believe’ in this), gender segregation in places of worship (something you couldn’t get away with in the workplace), and so on. If an adult believes his covenant with god is ‘sealed with a snip’, then let him perform it himself when of age. I won’t be signing your petition since it allows the religious to propagate their abusive dogmas and discriminatory practices just as before, and your petition does nothing to rectify this but may in fact give the impression, if adopted, that everything is right with the world. I would suggest back to the drawing board and this time stand up for what you believe in.

  15. What you have just done in moderating my comment out of existence, aside from contradicting your claim to be a ‘free thinker’, is to condemn many children of religious believers who would benefit from a reformulated charter of rights in the manner I suggest to a life misery. Bravo.

  16. I agree completely. We need to not forget the blasphemy laws in Europe. There are laws on the books all over Europe making it a thoughtcrime to question the validity of the holocaustianity religion! It’s a new Inquisition! There have been many people imprisoned and still in prison over these ridiculous laws.

    1. I see what you did there:) You’re right though, Hitchens also opposed holocaust-denial laws since it prevents one highlighting the absolute idiocy of those who deny it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dWxklSFPEA

      1. So we need laws, so that idiots won’t speak out and show how stupid they are? And if they are so stupid that they speak out anyway, then they need to be put in prison?

        1. Read what I said again: I’m with Hitchens in stating that there should NOT be laws against Holocaust denial.

  17. Unbelievable that we still have to battle so hard for the freedom to think and say what we want. I am offended all the time by the thoughts and sentiments of others but unless they incite damage I defend their right to be as offensive or inspiring as they wish. I can only hope they choose wisely.

    1. Thank you for your intelligent commentary. I concur wholeheartedly.

  18. I’m an atheist libertarian and the only thing that irritates me these days are the restrictions of polluted political correctness.
    30 years ago people like John Cleese and his comedy pals satirised religion.
    Muslims think that imaginary Allah wants them to murder people who don’t believe in him?
    If that’s an aspect of civilisation then the cultural world is in decline!

  19. “If there were valid scientific evidence in support of the supernatural religious claims, faith would not be the main requirement.”

    – Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, page 3

  20. “…Nowhere in Scripture will you find an acknowledgment that each individual has an “inalienable right” to be treated with fairness and respect, or that “We, the People” are capable of governing ourselves. There is no democracy in the “word of God.” In the bible, humans are “worms” and “sinners” deserving damnation, “slaves” who should humbly submit to all kings, heavenly and earthly.”

    “American laws are based on a secular constitution, not the bible. Any scriptures that might support a good law do so only because they have met the test of human values, which long predate the ineffective Ten Commandments.”

    “The God of Scripture slaughtered entire groups of people that offended his vanity, ordering young virgins to be kept alive as war booty for his priests (Numbers 31). “Happy shall be he that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones,” he advised (Psalm 137:9), threatening those with the wrong religion that “their women with child shall be ripped up” (Hosea 13:16), sending bears to attack 42 children who teased a prophet (II Kings 2:23-24), punishing innocent offspring to the fourth generation (Exodus 20:5), discriminating against the handicapped (Leviticus 21:18-23), promising that fathers and sons would eat each other (Ezekiel 5:10), and much more that we would find repugnant in a human being. In this theistic universe, morality is severed from reality and reduced to flattering the Sovereign.”

    – From a former Pastor of 20 years

    “No, I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”
    – George H.W. Bush, when he was candidate for president

    “Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land – for Jesus Christ – to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect life & godliness. It is dominion we’re after not just a voice. It is dominion we’re after not just influence. It is dominion we’re after not just equal time. It is dominion we’re after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to do.”
    – George Grant, “changing of the guard” pg 50-51

    “Our goal, as Christians, is to dominate society”
    – Pat Robertson

    “Christianity & Democracy are inevitably enemies”
    – R.J. Rushdoony “Independent Republic” pg 122, 1964

    “The church should be a disciplined charging army. Christians, like slaves and solders ask no questions. We are fighting a holy war.”
    – Jerry Falwell

    “Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors — in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”
    – D. James Kennedy

    Study: Atheists Most Discriminated Minority

    Religion and the PhD: A Brief History

    We have not had a Freethinker on the Supreme Court since 1877

  21. “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”
    – Omar M. Ahmad, founder of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) July 4th, 1998 http://www.danielpipes.org/rr/394.pdf

    “I want to see the U.S. become an Islamic nation.”
    – Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR Spokesperson

    “I am telling you that my religion doesn’t tolerate other religion. It doesn’t tolerate. The only one law which needs to spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam”
    – Abu Bakr, Muslim Cleric

    “Oh, you Muslims everywhere, sever the ties of their nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, instigate against their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, and shoot down their airplanes. Kill them in land, at sea, and in the air, kill them wherever you find them.”
    – Sheikh Abdel Rahman from a US prison

    “The real weapons of mass destruction are the desire for martyrdom. Millions of you are ready to be shaheed. Half a million martyrdom shaheed is enough for Muslims to control the whole of earth forever. In the end of the day, Islam must control earth, whether we like it or not.”
    – Abu Hamza al-Masri, Islamic Cleric

    “We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians…Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value.”
    – British career welfare recipient Sheikh Omar Bakri

    “We must not forget that Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands…”
    – Imam Muzammil H. Siddiqi, Islamic Society of North America

    “Ultimately, we (Muslims) can never be full citizens of this country … because there is no way we can be fully committed to the institutions and ideologies of this country”
    – Ihsan Bagby, CAIR

    “The 9/11 hijackers should be honored as martyrs.”
    – Warith Deen Umar, Former Muslim Chaplain, New York Prisons

    “Now, all our imams, our public speakers, should be concentrating on militarizing the Muslim public…Only carrying arms will do this task.”
    – Muhammad Al-Asi, Former Imam at the Washington, D.C. Islamic Center

    “Americans in general might be more supportive of targeted attacks on civilians, as part of the war on terror, than U.S. Muslims.”
    – Ahmad Al-Akhras, CAIR

    “In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing. And the only thing left will be Islam.”
    – Siraj Wahhaj, Brooklyn, New York Imam

    “Muslims cannot accept the legitimacy of the secular system in the United States, for it “is against the orders and ordainments of Allah…”
    – Imam Zaid Shakir, Former Muslim Chaplain at Yale University

    “This religion [Islam] will destroy all other religions through the Islamic Jihad fighters”
    – Jordanian/Palestinian School Book 1998

    “Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets, believers our soldiers.”
    – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan

    “Islam not a religion of violence, but if you burn Qur’ans or draw Muhammad, we’ll kill you”
    – Gambian President

    “It should be us, with our understanding of Islam, our principles, colonizing positively the United States of America.”
    – Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Islamic Studies at Oxford University

    “I am a traitor to America because my religion requires me to be. We pledge to wage jihad for the rest of our lives until either we implant Islam all over the world or meet our Lord as bearers of Islam.”
    – Samir Khan

    “Once we gain power in Egypt, “we will launch a campaign of Islamic conquest, throughout the world”
    – Sheikh ‘Adel Shehato, Senior official of Egyptian Islamic Jihad

    “Greater integration between Islam and the West depends on incorporation of Sharia law into the legal systems of Europe and the U.S.”
    – Ground Zero Mosque Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf

    “No we don’t want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy” “We love you, America – and we want your children for Islam”
    – Islam on Capitol Hill.com

    “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, Jihad Is Our Path & Death in the Name of Allah Is Our Goal”
    – Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi
    http://www.humanevents.com/2012/06/24/egyptian-president-mohammed-morsi-jihad-is-our-path-death-name-allah-is-our-goal/

    “Should I act violently in defense of my religion, ABSOLUTELY”
    – Reza Aslan, the so-called “moderate” Muslim

    “Nothing can stop the spread of Islam”
    – Islamic supremacist Reza Aslan

    Hitler met with the Muslim Grand Mufti in the 1930’s. They had good relations. That Islamic fascist regime has never stopped growing ever since. Now, they’ve infiltrated many different countries across several continents. It’s like we’re about to face a global version of Nazi Germany powered by Trillions per year in oil money. We have video of their meeting:

    History of Hitler and Muslim Waffen SS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3pq1KIUZb4

    The Association between Naziism and Arab Antisemitism
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBFBvceJvIU

    Islam Reality

  22. Support freedom everywhere!

  23. “Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal systems. Our legends and our folk-tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayer-books. Our national history has become an indispensable part of the learning of your pastors and priests and scholars. Our kings, our statesmen, our prophets, our warriors are your heroes. Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible. What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage.

    “Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of motherhood and womanhood. A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship. We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you.”

    The Truth about Judaeo-Christianity

    Quotes from Judaism

  24. I fully support to abolish blasphemy law or blasphemy law to be covered to Atheists , secularists etc. If any religious believer hurt, defame the feelings of Atheists, shall be punished equally.

  25. Get rid of insane blasphemy laws!

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